Characterisation of particulates in therapeutic monoclonal antibody (mAb) formulations is routinely extended to the sub-visible size-range (0.1–10 μm). Additionally, with the increased use of pre-filled syringes (PFS), particle differentiation is required between proteinaceous and non-proteinaceous particles such as silicone-oil droplets. Here, three orthogonal techniques: Raster Image Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS), Resonance Mass Measurements (RMM) and Micro-Flow Imaging (MFI), were evaluated with respect to their sub-visible particle measurement and characterisation capabilities. Particle formation in mAb PFS solutions was evaluated with increasing polysorbate-20 (PS-20) concentrations. All three techniques provided complementary but distinct information on protein aggregate and silicone-oil droplet presence. PS-20 limited the generation of mAb aggregates during agitation, while increasing the number of silicone-oil droplets (PS-20 concentration dependant). MFI and RMM revealed PS-20 lead to the formation of larger micron-sized droplets, with RICS revealing an increase in smaller sub-micron droplets. Subtle differences in data sets complicate the apparent correlation between silicone-oil sloughing and mAb aggregates’ generation. RICS (though the use of a specific dye) demonstrates an improved selectivity for mAb aggregates, a broader measurement size-range and smaller sample volume requirement. Thus, RICS is proposed to add value to the currently available particle measurement techniques and enable informed decisions during mAb formulation development.
- monoclonal antibody
- protein aggregation
- primary packaging
- raster image correlation spectroscopy