Analysis of Cell Culture Media
Cell culture media refers to the liquid media that is used to grow and maintain cells in a laboratory setting. It is a mixture of nutrients, including amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, vitamins and lipids, and varies depending on the requirements of the cells being cultured.
What is cell culture media used for?
Cell culture is an important tool in cellular and molecular biology, as it can be used to study the behaviour of specific cell types in a controlled environment for drug screening and development, and disease modelling.
It can also be used to produce biopharmaceuticals, including vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins.
More recently, it has been used to culture animal muscle cells, which can be harvested and processed to produce meat products which are more ethical and sustainable than traditional meat products.
Why is amino acid analysis of cell culture medium important?
As cells grow and divide in culture, they consume nutrients, including amino acids from the media in which they are grown. This can result in suboptimal conditions for the cells to proliferate further and even cessation of cell growth. Therefore, monitoring of amino acid levels in spent cell culture media can help to optimise growth and proliferation conditions resulting in a high-quality end product.
In addition, a recent article on cultured meat media published in 2022 in NPJ Science of Food (O’Neill et al 2022) indicated that no one cell culture medium is suitable for culturing multiple cultured meat cell types, so optimisation of media for specific cell types using techniques such as amino acid analysis will be important for the development of this industry.
Article written by Sarah Hawker, Head of Amino Acid Analysis.
O’Neill, E.N., Ansel, J.C., Kwong, G.A. et al.Spent media analysis suggests cultivated meat media will require species and cell type optimization. npj Sci Food 6, 46 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41538-022-00157-z