Dynamic Sampling Platform Makes Study and Treatment of Bioreactor Environments More Efficient

Achievement date: 
2018
Outcome/accomplishment: 

Researchers with the Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) Engineering Research Center (ERC) , headquartered at the Georgia Institute of Technology, have fabricated an integrated, dynamic mass spectrometry probe (DMSP) to collect small volume samples from a bioreactor and quantify the chemicals within it. The approach enables real-time monitoring of a bioreactor while advancing efforts for better control of the cell manufacturing processes. The work, funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF), was published in the free access journal, Biotechnology and Bioengineering.

Impact/benefits: 

The production of cell therapeutics is difficult and expensive. Microfabrication enabled design of a probe that can process samples in less than a minute, compared to hours using traditional techniques. The new integrated technique shows promise for treating high-volume bioreactors while lowering the cost of cell production.

Explanation/Background: 

Current online feedback control techniques used to assess critical quality attributes (CQAs) in bioreactor technologies require extensive effort and analysis. While electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI‐MS) is a favored, label-free method for exploring these attributes, it lacks efficiency in online applications.

CMaT researchers Robert E. Guldberg and Andrei G. Federov developed an integrated DMSP with colleagues at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta to improve discovery and monitoring of CQAs. The DMSP derived by CMaT more rapidly conditions online sample and analysis of sensitive biomolecules by removing interference in high salt solutions, employing a microfluidic mass exchanger, and introducing MS signal enhancers. Details are published in the paper, Dynamic Mass Spectrometry Probe for Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Monitoring of Bioreactors for Therapeutic Cell Manufacturing.