Lab Grown Leather and Meat May be Coming to NYC

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If tissue-engineering lab Modern Meadow has its way, 3D printed meat may very well be coming to New York City.

The company is currently in negotiations to lease a spot in the BioBAT facility in Brooklyn, and is aiming to produce lab-grown leather within two years. They also hope to be 3D printing lab grown meat sometime in the future.

Modern Meadow was founded by father-son team Andras and Gabor Forgas. Andras and Gabor are also the founders of Organovo – the leading bioprinted tissue engineering company.

The company is developing a 3D bioprinted meat and leather products produced from real animal cells. They are currently located at Missouri University, but with new investment plans, they hope to be closer to restaurants and the fashion industries in New York. The plan is to open a “leather and meat brewery,” so to speak, where visitors and skeptics alike could visit and learn more about 3D bioprinting. The new location would help spread the word about 3D printed products, and hopefully increase business.

Andras Forgas sees New York as the ideal location. With access to creative new foods, as well as fashion, New York would open the doors to new opportunities. “New York is the center of the fashion industry in the U.S., and one of the most exciting and creative food environments,” Forgas says.

Bioprinting leather, according to Forgas, is a “gateway material.” Since leather is two-dimensional, and made from mainly one type of cell, it’s an ideal place to start. If cultured leather works, Forgacs says that he believes people will be open to bioprinted meat.