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Keywords:

  • aggregation;
  • formulation;
  • viscosity;
  • mAb;
  • stability;
  • solubility

ABSTRACT

One of the most significant challenges in developing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is their unpredictable solubilities and viscosities at the high concentrations required for subcutaneous delivery. This challenge has motivated the development of screening assays that rapidly identify mAb variants with minimal self-association propensities and/or formulation conditions that suppress mAb self-association. Here we report an improved version of self-interaction nanoparticle spectroscopy (SINS) capable of characterizing both repulsive and attractive self-interactions between diverse mAbs. The basis of SINS is that self-interactions between mAbs immobilized on gold nanoparticles increase (repulsion) or decrease (attraction) interparticle distances, which shift the wavelength of maximum absorbance (plasmon wavelength) in opposite directions. We find that the robustness of SINS is improved by varying the amount of immobilized mAb by co-adsorbing a polyclonal antibody. The slopes of the plasmon wavelength shifts as a function of the amount of immobilized mAb (0.01–0.1 mg/mL) are correlated with diffusion interaction parameters measured at two to three orders of magnitude higher antibody concentrations. The ability of SINS to rapidly screen mAb self-association in a microplate format using dilute mAb solutions makes it well suited for use in diverse settings ranging from antibody discovery to formulation. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2014;111: 1513–1520. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.