Scientific article
Open access

The importance of being metal-free: The critical choice of column hardware for size exclusion chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry

Published inAnalytica chimica acta, vol. 1183, 338987
Publication date2021-10
First online date2021-08-25

The goal of the study was to evaluate the possibilities offered by a new generation of metal-free SEC column to perform direct SEC-MS of protein biopharmaceuticals using ammonium acetate as the main mobile phase additive. The prototype metal-free SEC column hardware used in this work was a polyether ether ketone (PEEK) infused stainless steel tube including PEEK frits. This PEEK-lined column provides a fully bioinert and metal-free fluidic path, while maintaining the stability of the metal hardware, and could be a good solution to limit possible undesired interactions between proteins and column wall/frits. This prototype metal-free SEC column was systematically compared with a conventional stainless-steel SEC column hardware packed with the same stationary phase material. Four different mAb products, namely trastuzumab, palivizumab, bevacizumab and NISTmAb, and one antibody drug conjugate (ADC), trastuzumab emtansine, were selected as test samples. It appears that peak symmetry, separation of low molecular weight species (LMWS), and the recovery of high molecular weight species (HMWS) were significantly improved for the different biopharmaceutical products on the metal-free SEC column. It has also been demonstrated that the largest differences between standard and metal-free SEC columns were observed for the most basic mAbs (high pI), which confirms that electrostatic interactions between the mAb and the metallic parts of the column (frits and inlet tube) could be responsible for the issues observed when performing SEC analysis with volatile mobile phase. Finally, it was feasible to perform SEC-MS analysis for a wide range of biopharmaceutical products using volatile mobile phase. Our results also highlight that an inappropriate column could bias the quantification of size variants when using MS-compatible mobile phases. Therefore, metal-free column, such as the PEEK-lined column, should be preferentially selected for SEC-MS analysis.

Citation (ISO format)
MURISIER, Amarande et al. The importance of being metal-free: The critical choice of column hardware for size exclusion chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry. In: Analytica chimica acta, 2021, vol. 1183, p. 338987. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2021.338987
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0003-2670

Technical informations

Creation10/11/2021 2:54:00 PM
First validation10/11/2021 2:54:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 1:31:58 AM
Status update03/16/2023 1:31:58 AM
Last indexation08/31/2023 2:00:50 AM
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