By Wei Hong, Ilyas Holmes, Todd Stone, Robert Henry, Victor Vinci, Yunsong Li
Trace-level multiple-element analysis through inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) provides suitable support for biopharmaceutical upstream process development and batch quality control. To set up a platform method for trace-level multiple elements in industrial cell culture media, scans of all relevant elements of fed-batch cell harvests from various mammalian cell lines were initially obtained and the distinct presence of major elements was observed. After an initial scan, 14 target elements were sorted into two analysis modes based on their specific concentration levels in the harvests. Following this sorting process, multiple-element standard curves with particulate rangers of each element were constructed. Results using various mammalian cell line harvests validated this method of trace-element analysis and provided a theoretical basis for metabolic pathways in distinct cell lines, based on differentiating elemental uptake patterns. Moreover, this multiple-element analysis demonstrated the efficiency of using multiple-element standards for quick result turnover.