Automatic Pretreatment System for Cell Culture Media Analysis

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Shimadzu’s C2MAP-2030 system can improve operational efficiency for optimizing and controlling the cell culturing process.

The new C2MAP-2030 automatic pretreatment system for cell culture media analysis from Shimadzu automates the sample pretreatment process required prior to simultaneous analysis of culture media components in a high-performance liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer (LC–MS/MS).

It is becoming increasingly important to monitor the consumption of components and the changes in waste matter (secreted metabolites) in culture media over time to enable optimization of cell cultivation parameters for manufacturing antibody drugs, as stated by Shimadzu. Consequently, even in the fields of cell therapy and regenerative medicine, there has been growing interest in using LC–MS/MS to analyze components in culture media in order to evaluate the cell culture status without damaging the cells. However, most researchers involved in culturing cells are not used to operating LC–MS/MS systems. The new automatic pretreatment system addresses this issue by simplifying LC–MS/MS analysis and improving the operational efficiency for optimizing and controlling the cell culture process.

The system, successor to the C2MAP-2000 released in 2017, can analyze components in up to 95 types of culture supernatants (culture solutions with floating and dead cells removed) without any human intervention, from sample pretreatment to measurement in the LC–MS/MS. By placing the culture supernatant samples, reagents, and filter/collection vials in the system, the samples can be measured unattended, including overnight or on days when the facility is closed. Samples can be controlled using the same ID for all process steps, which minimizes the risk of selecting the wrong sample and ensures traceability, according to the company. The included C2MAP–TRENDS software loads the measurement data and plots the changes in each component concentration as a function of time.

In contrast to the previous model, the system can be operated with only the unit necessary for pretreatment, the C2MAP pretreatment module. This means that the pretreatment module can be installed in a cell culturing room without being connected to the LC–MS/MS. Additionally, installing the LC–MS/MS in an analysis room, for example, allows that system to be used for purposes other than culture media analysis, according to the company.

Previously, 400 to 500 μL of sample were required per analysis, but by using a dedicated optional rack and small-volume vials, components can be analyzed in sample volumes as small as 100 μL. This makes the system suitable for small-scale experimental culturing applications without adequate sample material available for monitoring.


Pretreatment parameter settings that previously differed depending on the type of culture medium are now consolidated into a single set of settings, which eliminates the need for users to review parameter settings and enables multiple types of culture media to be investigated at the same time. 

The company reports that by mass producing the dedicated filtration vials, running costs can be reduced approximately 30% compared with the previous model.

Source: Shimadzu