Which Factors to Consider When Selecting an Analytical Method for Cell Culture Fermentation: A Comparison of Four Different Metabolic Analyzer Instruments

by Caitlin Kurtz and John Paul Smelko
Volume 13, Issue 3 (Fall 2014)

Mammalian cell culture processes require an in depth understanding of inputs and outputs in order to maximize productivity, efficiency, and product quality. Daily monitoring of essential metabolites, nutrients, and protein titer using at-line analyzers are the building blocks of drug manufacturing process development and characterization. In order to better understand how these instruments perform, a comparative analysis was conducted using two different classes of metabolicsensing technologies, membrane-based technology (MBT) and absorption photometric-based technology (APBT). Four commercially available instruments were examined using various samples and maintenance conditions in order to emphasize the following testing criteria: specificity, linearity, range, accuracy, and precision. Samples included standard solutions with known metabolite concentrations, cell culture supernatant, and supernatant liquid spiked with additional metabolite solutions. The results from our testing indicated that the photometric analyzers yielded more accurate and consistent results than the membrane-based analyzers and were easier and less time-consuming to maintain. Ultimately, these studies summarized the capabilities and limitations for both types of analyzers and provide a critical summary for instruments used in everyday bioprocess monitoring.

Kurtz C, Smelko JP. Which factors to consider when selecting an analytical method for cell culture fermentation: a comparison of four different metabolic analyzer instruments. BioProcess J, 2014; 13(3): 12–31. http://dx.doi.org/10.12665/J133.Kurtz.

Posted online October 13, 2014.