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

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    Rights statement: Open Acess This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Early online date15 Jan 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jan 2018


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

    Research areas

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

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