1H-NMR and MALDI-TOF MS as metabolomic quality control tests to classify platelet derived medium additives for GMP compliant cell expansion procedures

Francesco Agostini, Marta Ruzza, Davide Corpillo, Luca Biondi, Elena Acquadro, Barbara Canepa, Alessandra Viale, Monica Battiston, Fabrizio Serra, Silvio Aime, Mario Mazzucato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Ex vivo cell expansion under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines can be performed using medium additives containing human growth factors from platelets. These products can differently affect proliferation of adipose mesenchymal stromal stem cells (ASC). Qualification of medium additive performance is required for validation under GMP regulations: assessment of growth factor concentrations is not sufficient to predict the biological activity of the product batch. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (1H-NMR) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectroscopy (MALDI-TOF MS) provide wide molecular characterization of samples. Aims We aimed to assess if1H-NMR and MALDI-TOF MS techniques can be used as quality control test potentially predicting the impact of a medium additive on cell proliferation. Methods We tested the impact on ASC growth rate (cell proliferation assessment and cell morphology analysis) of four medium additives, obtained by different methods from human platelet apheresis product. In order to classify each medium additive, we evaluated growth factor concentrations and spectra obtained by1H-NMR and by MALDI-TOF MS. Results Medium additive obtained by CaCl2 activation of platelet rich products induced higher proliferation rate vs additive derived from platelet depleted ones. Additives obtained by freeze- and-thaw methods weakly induced ASC proliferation. As expected, principal component analysis of growth factor concentrations did not unravel specific biochemical features characterizing medium additives in relation with their biological activity. Otherwise, while1H-NMR showed a partial resolution capacity, analysis of MALDI-TOF MS spectra allowed unambiguous distinction between the medium additives we used to differently stimulate cell growth in vitro. Discussion MALDI-TOF and, despite limitations,1H-NMR are promising cost effective and reliable quality controls to classify the potential of a medium additive to promote ASC growth. This can represent, after further investigations and appropriate validation, a significant advantage for GMP compliant manufacturing of advanced cell therapy products.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0203048
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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