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Are Your Cells on a Star Athlete Diet?

Team TFS
Team TFS


Everyone needs a balanced diet to stay healthy. As an extreme example, professional athletes require a scientifically constructed diet to achieve peak performance, along with a scientifically designed physical training program. The cells generating life-saving biotherapeutics must physically perform just like professional athletes — they need to produce large amounts of biotherapeutics, such as monoclonal antibodies, with consistently high quality.

To maintain cell health and performance, tremendous effort has been invested to improve cell culture media and feeding strategy. A good understanding of nutrient consumption and metabolism provides insight in process optimization, particularly in continuous manufacturing. The time-course data can be correlated with cell viability, product quantity and quality to guide the design of optimal feed media and feed frequency. Ultimately, a predictive model could be developed for adaptive feedback control, becoming an essential part of QbD (Quality by Design).


Consider your options for optimal cell culture media analysis

LC-MS (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry) has emerged as the perfect solution to provide confident and accurate measurement of hundreds of cell culture media metabolites in a single analysis. It is challenging to develop a robust and high-throughput method because those metabolites have vastly different chemical and physical properties. Several targeted methods have been developed to monitor a group of selected molecules on the triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. However, those methods suffer from limited multiplexity and rigid design, making them not suitable to support multiple programs. Information is missed on a large number of metabolites outside the target list.

High-resolution accurate-mass (HRAM) mass spectrometry addresses those gaps and can provide accurate measurement of all metabolites, allowing targeted data processing and retrospective data mining. Reiko Kiyonami, senior product application scientist at Thermo Fisher Scientific, recently discussed the advantages of using a Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Exploris mass spectrometer for cell culture media analysis. With fast polarity switching, all metabolites could be detected in a single analysis. Confident identification of metabolites is facilitated by high-mass accuracy at sub-ppm and high resolution of 60,000. Fast scan speed also ensures sufficient duty cycle for accurate quantification.

Download her application note to see the single-acquisition, high-throughput solution that enables:

    • accurate quantification of 100 key metabolites


    • confident profiling and quantification of numerous untargeted metabolites

A quick survey during her presentation shows that most scientists prefer HRAM MS. Watch the webinar on-demand to hear the opinions of your peers.