20th December 2022

Meatable and academia & industry consortium to research ELPs: a biopolymer with promising applications in food and healthcare

A partnership between TU Delft, DSM, VIVOLTA, and Meatable has been awarded an Open
Technology Program grant by the NWO (Dutch Research Council) for research into the use
of protein-based biopolymers for potential food and healthcare applications, including soft
tissue repair. The grant of one million euros will fund a five-year research project into the
scalability and cost-effectiveness of producing elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) and non-
animal derived collagen. The project will be led by prof. dr. Gijsje Koenderink, professor at
the Bio nanoscience Department, and prof. dr. Jean-Marc Daran, who specializes in
Industrial Microbiology at TU Delft.

DSM’s world-class biotechnology competences will be critical in producing synthetic
biopolymer prototypes to be studied by the other consortium members. DSM Biomedical,
part of DSM and the world’s biomaterials expert, will leverage their longstanding expertise
to assess the non-animal derived prototypes and post-process scaffolds for soft tissue repair
applications. VIVOLTA will assess the recombinant materials for electrospinning feasibility in
pure and composite materials.

Meatable will test the prototypes as scaffolds and conduct a digestibility study on the
optimized ELPs, which can contribute towards scaling the production of cultivated meats
and whole cuts. Meatable works with porcine and bovine
pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) in (perfusion) bioreactors using opti-ox technology; a process
in which ELPs have the potential to offer better cell differentiation and tissue development.
These benefits could improve the meat quality and process efficiency, bringing Meatable
closer to realizing its mission: delicious meat without the drawbacks on animal welfare.

  • TU Delft is the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. In 2022, the
    institute was among the world’s top 10 engineering and technology universities,
    according to the renowned QS World University Ranking.
  • DSM is a global purpose-led science-based world leader in health, nutrition and
    industrial biotechnology.
  • VIVOLTA is a trusted partner in product development and contract manufacturing of
    electrospun medical devices for regenerative medicine.

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