Cultured Breastmilk:
178 Million Years in the Making

Next generation science

  for our next generation 

It's not formula. It's not mother's-milk. It's BIOMILQ.

Culturing is already part of our culture. 

We're using the same methods used to advance human health for decades— now it's infant nutrition's turn.

As a team of women-scientists, parents, and dare-we-say, nerds, we are over-the-moon at our enormous potential for feeding humanity.

produced by epithelial cells

in the mammary glands.

Milk is a complex macromolecular secretion

fats

proteins

carbohydrates

how it works

WE CHAT

ABOUT YOUR BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY

WE COLLECT

A SAMPLE

OF YOUR

MAMMARY CELLS

WE CULTURE & NURTURE CELLS IN OUR LAB

in Durham, NC

WE COLLECT & RIGOROUSLY TEST THE MILK CREATED BY THE CELLS

WE PACKAGE AND SEND YOUR MILK

TO SUPPORT YOUR BABY'S GROWTH

& YOUR PEACE

OF MIND

During pregnancy, milk-making cells (called mammary epithelial cells) multiply in number dramatically in preparation for lactation. When the baby is born, shifts in the mother's blood chemistry trigger the onset of milk production—isn't the female body astounding!

 

The fundamental methods we’re using are safe and widely used: culturing mammary cells outside the body and leveraging their natural ability to produce 2500+ components of breastmilk in the perfect constellation.

 

During a prenatal visit, mammary epithelial cells will be collected from an expectant mother. The cells will then shipped to the BIOMILQ facility, where they will be cultured in nutrient solution that provides the energy and precursors needed for milk synthesis. When enough cells are present, they will be stimulated to produce milk using same molecular cues present in the mother's body during lactation. We will then collect the natural product secreted from the cells and package it  for shipment to families everywhere! 

tell me more!

a note from Leila Strickland,

our co-founder and CSO

Here's a bit on my background (nerd alert!): 

 

The molecular mechanics used by all animal cells to control physical behaviors in space and time are fundamental at an evolutionary level and highly conserved across species. As a Ph.D. student, I researched sea urchin eggs as a model system to learn about how the events of cell division are spatially and temporally coordinated. The eggs of sea urchins are large, spherical, and optically transparent, so with the right microscope, you can watch the machinery of cell division assemble and divide the cell in two—so beautiful!

 

Milk biosynthesis is a secretory process that, similarly to cell division, requires spatial orientation of the cell and coordination of multiple structures to ensure that components are delivered to the appropriate location at the appropriate time, and our process leverages these fundamental aspects of cell biology.

 

While feeding my son at the end of my post-doc it was clear that there was world-changing potential in harnessing my scientific understanding of cells and the evolutionary powerhouses of the human body—mammary cells—to make milk for millions of mothers in need!

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