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Issue 23, 2017
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Measuring biotherapeutic viscosity and degradation on-chip with particle diffusometry

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In the absence of efficient ways to test drug stability and efficacy, pharmaceuticals that have been stored outside of set temperature conditions are destroyed, often at great cost. This is especially problematic for biotherapeutics, which are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Current platforms for assessing the stability of protein-based biotherapeutics in high throughput and in low volumes are unavailable outside of research and development laboratories and are not efficient for use in production, quality control, distribution, or clinical settings. In these alternative environments, microanalysis platforms could provide significant advantages for the characterization of biotherapeutic degradation. Here we present particle diffusometry (PD), a new technique to study degradation of biotherapeutic solutions. PD uses a simple microfluidic chip and microscope setup to calculate the Brownian motion of particles in a quiescent solution using a variation of particle image velocimetry (PIV) fundamentals. We show that PD can be used to measure the viscosity of protein solutions to discriminate native protein from degraded samples as well as to determine the change in viscosity as a function of therapeutic concentration. PD viscosity analysis is applied to two particularly important biotherapeutic preparations: insulin, a commonly used protein for diabetic patients, and monoclonal antibodies which are an emerging class of biotherapeutics used to treat a variety of diseases such as autoimmune disorders and cancer. PD-based characterization of solution viscosity is a new tool for biotherapeutic analysis, and owing to its easy setup could readily be implemented at key points of the pharmaceutical delivery chain and in clinical settings.

Graphical abstract: Measuring biotherapeutic viscosity and degradation on-chip with particle diffusometry

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 May 2017, accepted on 01 Nov 2017 and first published on 01 Nov 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00507E
Citation: Lab Chip, 2017,17, 4148-4159
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    Measuring biotherapeutic viscosity and degradation on-chip with particle diffusometry

    K. N. Clayton, D. Lee, S. T. Wereley and T. L. Kinzer-Ursem, Lab Chip, 2017, 17, 4148
    DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00507E

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