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Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2008 Jun;14(2):107-18. doi: 10.1089/ten.tec.2007.0401.

High-throughput nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic footprinting for tissue engineering.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


We report a high-throughput (HTP) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) method for analysis of media components and a metabolic schematic to help easily interpret the data. Spin-lattice relaxation values and concentrations were measured for 19 components and 2 internal referencing agents in pure and 2-day conditioned, hormonally defined media from a 3-dimensional (3D) multicoaxial human bioartificial liver (BAL). The (1)H NMR spectral signal-to-noise ratio is 21 for 0.16 mM alanine in medium and is obtained in 12 min using a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer. For comparison, 2D gel cultures and 3D multicoaxial BALs were batch cultured, with medium changed every day for 15 days after inoculation with human liver cells in Matrigel-collagen type 1 gels. Glutamine consumption was higher by day 8 in the BAL than in 2D culture; lactate production was lower through the 15-day culture period. Alanine was the primary amino acid produced and tracked with lactate or urea production. Glucose and pyruvate consumption were similar in the BAL and 2D cultures. NMR analysis permits quality assurance of the bioreactor by identifying contaminants. Ethanol was observed because of a bioreactor membrane "wetting" procedure. A biochemical scheme is presented illustrating bioreactor metabolomic footprint results and demonstrating how this can be translated to modify bioreactor operational parameters or quality assurance issues.

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