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Scientific article
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Alternative mobile phase additives for the characterization of protein biopharmaceuticals in liquid chromatography – Mass spectrometry

Published inAnalytica Chimica Acta, vol. 1156, 338347
Publication date2021
Abstract

When analyzing large complex protein biopharmaceuticals, ion-pairing agents imparting low pH are widely used as mobile phase additives to improve the chromatographic performance. However, one of the most effective additives in RPLC and HILIC, trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), is known as a strong suppressor of the MS signal and limits its use in hyphenated techniques. In this study, we evaluated a wide range of acidic additives to find alternatives to TFA that provided comparable chromatographic performance and improved MS sensitivity. It was observed that stronger acidic additives were required for intact level analysis compared to subunit level analysis and that the additive nature had a larger impact on the chromatographic performance in HILIC mode compared to RPLC. Therefore, four additives were identified as valuable alternatives to TFA in RPLC mode, namely, difluoroacetic acid (DFA), dichloroacetic acid (DClAA), trichloroacetic acid (TClAA), and methanesulfonic acid (MSA). Only one of these additives provided acceptable performance in HILIC mode, namely, TClAA. After evaluation of the MS performance, TClAA was discarded due to the apparent loss of intensity in both RPLC-MS and HILIC-MS mode. Together, these results demonstrate that for HILIC-MS analysis TFA remains the gold standard additive. However, DFAwas found as promising alternative to TFA for RPLC-MS analysis and could play an important role in the development of methods for the characterization of the increasingly complex protein biopharmaceuticals.

Keywords
  • Mobile phase additive
  • RPLC-MS
  • HILIC-MS
  • Monoclonal antibody
Citation (ISO format)
LARDEUX, Honorine et al. Alternative mobile phase additives for the characterization of protein biopharmaceuticals in liquid chromatography – Mass spectrometry. In: Analytica Chimica Acta, 2021, vol. 1156, p. 338347. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2021.338347
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ISSN of the journal1873-4324
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Creation03/17/2021 4:49:00 PM
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