"Organ-in-a-Column" Coupled On-line with Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2022 Dec 20;94(50):17677-17684. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c04530. Epub 2022 Dec 9.


Organoids, i.e., laboratory-grown organ models developed from stem cells, are emerging tools for studying organ physiology, disease modeling, and drug development. On-line analysis of organoids with mass spectrometry would provide analytical versatility and automation. To achieve these features with robust hardware, we have loaded liquid chromatography column housings with induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived liver organoids and coupled the "organ-in-a-column" units on-line with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Liver organoids were coloaded with glass beads to achieve an even distribution of organoids throughout the column while preventing clogging. The liver organoids were interrogated "on column" with heroin, followed by on-line monitoring of the drug's phase 1 metabolism. Enzymatic metabolism of heroin produced in the "organ-in-a-column" units was detected and monitored using a triple quadrupole MS instrument, serving as a proof-of-concept for on-line coupling of liver organoids and mass spectrometry. Taken together, the technology allows direct integration of liver organoids with LC-MS, allowing selective and automated tracking of drug metabolism over time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Automation
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Heroin*
  • Liver*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods


  • Heroin