Development of a Microchip CE-HPMS Platform for Cell Growth Monitoring

William M. Gilliland, Jr.
J. Michael Ramsey


Improvements were made to a previously developed platform coupling microchip capillary electrophoresis (CE) with high pressure mass spectrometry (HPMS). The RF drive frequency was increased to over 30 MHz from less than 10 MHz, and the ion trap was scaled down to 100 μm critical dimensions. A stretched length ion trap was used to improve sensitivity, and a tube lens was used to improve ion transmission. Detection of the 20 common amino acids was demonstrated, resulting in an average improvement of signal-to-noise of 28 times and an average improvement in peak width of 2.6 times over those obtained in previous work. Consumption of amino acids by cells in growth media was monitored over time using the improved CE-HPMS platform, and several amino acids were shown to be consumed at different rates, demonstrating the potential for real-time bioreactor monitoring.