Quantitative trace metal determinations in cell culture media using LS-APGD-MS and ICP-OES with free/bound species differentiation following polymer fiber separations
Liquid sampling-atmospheric pressure glow discharge-mass spectrometry (LS-APGD-MS) and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) were employed for the quantification of trace metals in cell culture media and their capabilities compared. The LS-APGD is interfaced here to a compact mass spectrometer (Advion CMS) towards the development of an at-bioreactor process monitoring strategy. Both techniques have been previously employed for the quantification of trace metals in samples of various complexities, making them a natural choice for this application. They have also demonstrated comparable analytical figures of merit including limits of detection (LOD), matrix tolerance, etc. While cell culture media is a complex sample, the ICP-OES technique was unaffected by the matrix. However, the LS-APGD-MS suffered from increases in spectral background. Despite this, both techniques achieved appropriate LODs for all metals analyzed in this work (Cu, Fe, Zn, Co, Mn, Ni; LOD < 100 ng mL−1), except for Mn and Ni via LS-APGD-MS. To overcome the increased background seen on the LS-APGD-MS, a capillary channeled polymer (C-CP) polypropylene (PPY) fiber stationary phase was employed as an on-line separation for the removal of organic components prior to sample introduction into the plasma. It was further determined that Ni was retained on the column, preventing the detection of this element via LS-APGD-MS, and insights into metal speciation were discussed. Following implementation of this on-line separation strategy, the agreement between the techniques was acceptable for all analytes, and was excellent for Cu, Fe, and Zn.