Differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) was employed to increase the throughput of the thermostability screening of monoclonal antibody (mAb) formulations. The method consists of measuring the fluorescence intensity of a polarity sensitive probe at gradually increasing temperatures, and obtaining the transition temperature of exposure of the hydrophobic regions of proteins (T(h)). The change in fluorescence intensity was directly related to protein unfolding levels and temperatures. The results from thermostability measurements were compared with the data acquired using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and a good correlation between T(h) and the temperature of protein unfolding or melting (T(m)) was observed. The method was applied to screen four mAb molecules in 84 different buffers. The studies revealed a good correlation of T(h) values with the known effects of pH and excipients on protein stability in solution. Specifically, the elevated aggregation levels induced by salt, low pH, and high protein concentrations could be successfully predicted by this thermal stability screening. This method is efficient, with high throughput capability, and could be widely applied in the biopharmaceutical industry for formulation and process development, and characterization.
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