Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Micheal Sealy

Date of this Version

Spring 5-2022


Keerthana Reddy, 2022, "Photolithographic additive manufacturing of edible scaffolds for cultured meat", A thesis, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, pp. 1-65.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Under the Supervision of Professor Michael P. Sealy. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2022

Copyright © 2022 Keerthana Reddy Chinthapally


According to the United Nations, 2.37 billion people in the world do not have access to a healthy balanced diet in 2020. The UN world food program (UNWFP) estimates the worth of food that is wasted every year to be a trillion dollars. The agricultural revolution and technological advancements have led us to produce abundant food that can feed the planet. However, almost 40% of food gets wasted in the United States according to UNWFP due to the poor management of storage and distribution. To reduce food wastage and improve the availability of food around the world, distributed food manufacturing systems are needed. One potential option for distributed food manufacturing system is cellular agriculture.

Cellular agriculture is the science of making alternative protein and animal products without harming or slaughtering animals. It incorporates the principles of tissue engineering to cultivate meat products in a laboratory. Cellular agriculture involves sourcing the cells from the animal and culturing the meat product by providing the required nutrients. Currently, the cost of products cultivated through cellular agriculture is extremely high. These high costs are attributed to the high media use, large production time, and the need for heavy equipment. There is a need to reduce the high costs of ii production, increase scalability and improve consumer acceptance of cellular agriculture products.

The overarching goal of this research is to engineer scaffolds that can significantly reduce the cost and improve the properties of cellular agriculture products. However, the materials suitable for manufacturing such scaffolds are limited. This research evaluates the use of soy-based scaffold materials as an alternative to manufacturing scaffolds since soy is easily available. The primary objective of this research was to find an ideal scaffold design that mimics meat and prevents the drying of meat when cooked. The proposed scaffold design can be tuned to have the desired physical properties when it is cooked. The scaffold design combines two materials with different thermal conductivities to exhibit a negative thermal expansion at increasing temperatures. It was found that the extent of contraction can be controlled by changing the difference in the conductivities of the materials. The secondary objective was to find a manufacturing technique that allows for faster manufacturing of scaffolds. A light-based manufacturing process is used to make the soy-based scaffolds. It is observed that volume-based manufacturing was three times faster than layer-based manufacturing using light. Overall, a plant-based material alternative and an ideal scaffold design were demonstrated for the manufacturing of scaffolds for cellular agriculture.

Advisor: Michael P. Sealy