Peter Thiel’s philanthropic foundation announced a donation of $350,000 to a Missouri company developing bio-printing, a technology that could manufacture meat without the animal.
3D printing has been successful creating jewelry, footwear and even medical implants by laying down successive layers of material. The Thiel Foundation’s investment in Modern Meadow, a company based in Columbia, Mo., has plans to print what researchers are calling “fabricate 3D cellular sheets composed of porcine cells.” The sheets would be matured into muscle tissue with electrical stimulation in a bioreactor.
According to Time magazine, Modern Meadow plans to target vegetarians who don’t eat meat for ethical reasons and people who don’t eat meat due to religious restrictions.
CNET reports Mondern Meadow has a short-term goal to produce a sliver of synthetic meat measuring less than an inch long. The manufactured meat could be minced and used in sausage, patty or nugget form.
The company sees growing demand for meat products primarily in developing countries.