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    Biomanufacturing processes may be optimized by storing cell culture media at room temperature, but this is currently limited by their instability and change in color upon long-term storage. This study demonstrates that one of the critical contributing factors toward media browning is tryptophan. LC-MS technology was utilized to identify tryptophan degradation products, which are likely formed primarily from oxidation reactions. Several of the identified compounds were shown to contribute significantly to color in solutions but also to exhibit toxicity against CHO cells. A cell-culture-compatible antioxidant, a-ketoglutaric acid, was found to be an efficient cell culture media additive for stabilizing components against degradation, inhibiting the browning of media formulations, and decreasing ammonia production, thus providing a viable method for developing room-temperature stable cell culture media.


    Alisa Schnellbaecher, Anton Lindig, Maxime Le Mignon, Tim Hofmann, Brit Pardon, Stephanie Bellmaine, Aline Zimmer. Degradation Products of Tryptophan in Cell Culture Media: Contribution to Color and Toxicity. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Jun 09;22(12)

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    PMID: 34207579

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