Osaka University scientists isolated stem cells from Wagyu cows and used them to 3D print a hunk of steak with the correct arrangement of muscle, fat, and blood vessels that makes Wagyu beef so special. Unfortunately, the image above does not depict the bioprinted meat. That's seen below, and besides being unappetizing and small, it's also "inedible," write the researchers, for unspecified reasons. But they'll keep at it. From EurekAlert!:
Individual fibers including muscle, fat, or blood vessels were fabricated from these cells using bioprinting. The fibers were then arranged in 3D, following the histological structure, to reproduce the structure of the real Wagyu meat, which was finally sliced perpendicularly, in a similar way to the traditional Japanese candy Kintaro-ame. This process made the reconstruction of the complex meat tissue structure possible in a customizable manner. "By improving this technology, it will be possible to not only reproduce complex meat structures, such as the beautiful sashi of Wagyu beef, but to also make subtle adjustments to the fat and muscle components," senior author Michiya Matsusaki says. That is, customers would be able to order cultured meat with their desired amount of fat, based on taste and health considerations.
"Engineered whole cut meat-like tissue by the assembly of cell fibers using tendon-gel integrated bioprinting" (Nature Communications)
image (top): Jiashiang Wang (CC BY 2.0)