Blood, meat, and upscaling tissue engineering: Promises, anticipated markets, and performativity in the biomedical and agri-food sectors

Neil Stephens, Emma King, Catherine Lyall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tissue engineering is a set of biomedical technologies, including stem cell science, which seek to grow biological tissue for a diversity of applications. In this paper we explore two emergent tissue engineering technologies that seek to cause a step change in the upscaling capacity of cell growth: cultured blood and cultured meat. Cultured blood technology seeks to replace blood transfusion with a safe and affordable bioengineered replacement. Cultured meat technology seeks to replace livestock based food production with meat produced in a bioreactor. Importantly, cultured meat technology straddles the industrial contexts of biomedicine and agri-food. In this paper we articulate (i) the shared and divergent promissory trajectories of the two technologies, and (ii) the anticipated market, consumer, and regulatory contexts of each. Our analysis concludes by discussing how the sectoral ontologies of biomedicine and agri-food impact the performative capacity of each technology’s promissory trajectory
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368–388
JournalBioSocieties
Volume13
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • cultured blood
  • cultured meat
  • in vitro meat
  • promise
  • anticipated markets
  • tissue engineering

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