Production of high value biological therapeutics usually involves complex manufacturing processes with high process variability. Additionally, development of robust and reliable bioprocesses can be challenging. PAT aims to enhance bioprocess understanding and implies a holistic approach to ensure that quality is built into products by design. Efficient PAT therefore calls for fast and robust analytical techniques which enables to asses high quality information about critical quality attributes and key performance indicators as parallel as possible to the manufacturing process. PATfinder™ is unique HPLC system for routine gradient separations that enables every analytical task. Equipped with bio-inert ceramic pump heads is deliberately tailored to meet the demands of analytical applications covering wide range of biomolecules. Highly sensitive and fast multi-wavelength detector enables to detect component peaks even in very fast gradients.
Productivity of the downstream bioprocessing depends among others on the efficiency of chromatographic step. One of the crucial chromatographic parameters is dynamic binding capacity (DBC) for certain biomolecule. DBC could be tailored with changing the surface area of convective pores by tailoring the surface of pre-polymerized monoliths using graft or block polymerization of polymer brushes. Grafted CIM monoliths have already been prepared via Radical Polymerization (RP) and successfully characterized (1).
Recently, the implementation and optimization of Controlled Radical Polymerization (CRP) for grafting of large pore monoliths (average diameter 6 μm ) resulted in polymethacrylate-based ionic exchanger with at least 5 times higher DBC compared to non-grafted 6 μm monoliths, while preserving high permeability. The main goal of our study was to chromatographically characterize novel grafted ion-exchanging monoliths (CIM gDEAE and CIM gSO3) to see whether novel columns still retain flow independent chromatographic properties of non-grafted monoliths.
To ensure the desired chromatographic characteristics of the CIM® monolithic column at large scales, monolith microstructure morphology, pore size distribution, porosity and surface ligand density should be uniform. To demonstrate the uniformity of large chromatographic monoliths we have developed new testing procedures. By fabricating smaller columns (disks) from different random positions of larger monolith, non-cGMP compliant chromatographic testing can be applied on the same polymerization batch without affecting the cGMP compliance of large-scale chromatographic monolith. Each individual disk was thoroughly tested and the results were compared to the properties of the large monolith.
There are many cases, where a single protein needs to be purified from a complex sample. Such proteins manifest themselves as impurities, which can affect further analysis, either by causing specific equipment malfunction or lower yield in the products. In other cases the specific protein is our molecule of interest, for example in glycomics analysis. In both cases high specificity for proteins, reproducibility and reliability is necessary. We have developed a model immunoaffinity column and 96-well plate based on an anti-fibrinogen monoclonal antibody, covalently immobilized onto CIMac™ analytical chromatographic monolith.
There are many cases, where a single protein needs to be purified from a complex sample. Such proteins manifest themselves as impurities, which can affect further analysis, either by causing specific equipment malfunction or lower yield in the products. In other cases the specific protein is our molecule of interest, for example in glycomics analysis. In both cases high specificity for proteins, reproducibility and reliability is necessary. We have developed a model immunoaffinity column and 96-well plate based on an anti-fibrinogen monoclonal antibody, covalently immobilized onto CIMac™ HDZ analytical chromatographic monolith.
Methacrylate monoliths (CIM® monolithic columns) allow for very fast and efficient separations and exhibit very high binding capacities for extremely large bio-particles due to their large inner channel diameters and enhanced mass transfer characteristics.
Additionally, the ability to manufacture polymer monolithic materials ranging from analytical to large scale preparative/industrial columns has tremendous advantages. By ensuring the chromatographic properties are consistent over the whole size range, one can easily design and optimize a purification method on laboratory scale and transfer it to a production line with minimal to no additional modifications.
Until now the largest monolithic column had a volume of 8 L, which was large enough to serve the biopharmaceutics' market's needs. Now however, the capacity of that column is already at its upper limit.
By successfully employing the knowledge and experience from almost two decades of monolith production we have managed to overcome the size limitations and polymerize the largest convective chromatographic support made from one piece of material, a 40 L monolithic column.
Immunoaffinity columns using antibodies as ligands against mammalian membrane proteins could be used for different applications in protein expresion control and, if a standard available, for concentration determination. Additionally these columns are ideal for polishing step of Fc fusion proteins of mammalian receptors.
Most importantly such columns could extract a significant amount of a pure membrane mammalian protein suitable for structural analyses, such as mass spec analysis of their glycans. Immunoaffinity chromatographic monoliths against MULT-1 transmembrane and RAE-1 GPI anchored glycoproteins were developed as a part of Glycomet project with the main goal to analyze the antigen glycan parts.
Two different preactivated support were used: hydrazide (HDZ) and carboxy imidazole (CDI).
Surface hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity of chromatographic stationary phases is one of the important characteristics that influence the chromatographic column performance. On the one hand, the surface should be highly hydrophilic to avoid nonspecific adsorption of sample molecules; on the other hand, the hydrophobic surface is crutial to e.g. separate the molecule isoforms.Therefore, fast and easy characterization method to evaluate the surface „hydrophobic/hydrophilic character" could be valuable.
First stage in the development of this method and the objective of this study was to evaluate the hydrophobicity of test set of 1 mL CIM columns with different ligand chemistries and densities. This was achieved by separation of protein mixture under hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) conditions. Proteins were used since monoliths are used mainly in downstream of large biomolecules.
Moreover, since poor recovery under HIC conditions was observed on some columns, the research was additionally expanded with reversed phase chromatography (RPC) to obtain extra information about even more hydrophobic surface properties of monolithic columns. Therefore, after HIC step the RPC step followed and additional elution of proteins was achieved.
Phosphoproteomics is a branch of proteomics that focuses on deriving a comprehensive view of the extent & dynamics of protein phosphorylation by way of identifying & characterizing proteins that contain a phosphate group as a posttranslational modification. One of the approaches for specific enrichment of phosphopeptides from complex samples is metal oxide affinity chromatography (MOAC), where the specific adsorption results from bridging bidentate bindings formed between the phosphate anions and the surface of a metal oxide, such as TiO2, ZrO2, Fe2O3, and Al2O3. In presented study, a rutile TiO2 nanoparticles were bound to a previously polymerised CIM hydroxy monoliths.
Enrichment of phosphopeptides prior to LC-MS analysis is a crucial sample preparation step because of their low stoichiometry in biological sample, longer retention on reversed phase columns, and lower ionization efficiency compared to non-phosphorylated peptides .The use of metal oxides, most prominently of TiO2 enabled efficient and relatively simple phosphopeptide-enrichment. In this study a new monolithic column from BIA Separations containing immobilized TiO2-nanoparticles was tested for its ability to enrich phosphopeptides. The TiO2-column was also tested for possible carryover originating from biological samples. In conclusion, tested monolithic TiO2 columns show significant binding ability for phosphopeptides and are considered as suitable for phosphopeptide enrichment.
Challenges in monitoring the quality of vaccine production
• Process Analytical Technology (PAT) ensures process reproducibility in bioprocessing
• A mechanism to design, analyze and control pharmaceutical manufacturing processes through the measurement of critical process parameters (CPP) which affect product quality attributes (CQA)
• Initiated by the FDA as part of the 21st Century GMP initiative in 2001 with the goal of increasing productivity
• Application of PAT in vaccine development and manufacturing is challenging due to the sample complexity and batch-to-batch variability.
• During the development of an up- and/or down-stream process of the target biomolecule, a fast, accurate and reliable analytical method is requried for determining the quantity and purity of the product intended for human use
Solution: Convective Interaction Media Monoliths
• Monoliths are chromatography media cast as a single block, inserted into a housing
• Highly inter-connected network of channels (1-2 μm) containing functionalised binding sites for large biomolecules (viruses, VLPs, pDNA, antibodies)
• Performance unaffected by increasing the flow rate or molecular size
There are two different designs of chromatographic columns concerning the flow profile. Most of today's HPLC columns belong to the group of so-called axial mode operating columns, while the radial ones with a radial flow pattern are more rare. Which type performs better depends on the particular case but it seems that the radial operating columns are attracting interest since they exhibit some beneficial features. One of the main problems of radial operating chromatographic columns is the changing of a mobile phase linear velocity over the chromatographic bed. Because of that, matrix efficiency for porous particulate supports varies by its position within the bed, and overall performance is more difficult to predict.
This problem is not present when the monolithic supports are used, since it was demonstrated that their chromatographic properties are flow unaffected even at the extreme linear velocities. This was confirmed also for the radial operating mode.
The monolith and radial flow housing were designed for extremely high flow rates, up to 70 CV/min, which is the range of the flow rates applied on membranes. This was achieved by proper monolith dimensions with the height of 55 mm, inner diameter of 6.0 mm and thickness of only 4.5 mm.
In the last few years pharmacology has made a big step towards the new type of drugs, called biological drugs. Popularity and market for biological drugs grew exponentially, so did the need for fast and inexpensive purification. Classic liquid chromatography columns were unable to separate biological compounds in industrial quantities, therefore the scientists were looking for alternatives. One of them are monolithic materials. Monolithic materials, especially methacrylate monoliths, are becoming more and more popular in separation processes due to their fast separations, low pressure drop and mechanical stability.
In the context of preparing new columns and improving existing ones, we need to know every single chemical as well as mechanical property of our monolithic material. Here we present some key data and interesting correlations between mechanical and structural properties of GMA-co-EDMA porous monolith. In the first paragraph we compare nonmodified and DEAE modified monoliths with different average pore size and porosity, regarding to their compression and tension properties. The second paragraph deals with the impact of these parameters on the permeability of the column during separation.
Commonly, epoxide-based monoliths used as porous supports in affinity chromatography are synthesized from glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EDMA) by free radical polymerization.
We prepared an epoxide-based monolith by self polymerization of polyglycidyl ethers where the epoxy groups serve as functional groups for the polymerization reaction as well as for the immobilization of the ligand.
Monolith technology has been employed in chromatography for a variety of applications using diverse substrates. The development of different column chemistries has led to the Thermo Scientific ProSwift line of monolith columns for analytical protein separation by ion exchange and reversed phase. Separation of biomolecules can be achieved at elevated linear velocities with minimal loss of resolution. Columns are designed to withstand extreme pH cleaning, desired for sterilization. The backbone and functionalization are optimized for high mass loading for small-scale preparative applications, the ideal first dimension separation of crude biological samples. Combined with increased sensitivity of a 1 mm format, detection of proteins of very low copy number in a crude samples is achievable.
We discuss here the ability to produce highly-reproducible columns with excellent stability as well as characteristics required for fast small-scale preparative analysis. HPLC column selection is a challenging task, specifically where the mixture contents is somewhat unknown. Many factors influence the choice of column used; chemistry, robustness, and reproducibility. For quality assurance, columns should be chosen that are reproducible both run to run and batch to batch. To prevent cross-contamination between samples, carryover and sterilization should be considered. For semi-prep, a combination of high mass loading and good resolution enable increased purity of peak fractions. Format and operational flow rate should be considered with respect to multidimensional analysis.
Analysis of a large number of samples requires chromatographic support that not only enables fast separation and purification of a target biomolecule from a complex matrix but also support an automation of a process. The methacrylate 96-well monolithic plate format enables both. 96-well monolithic plate reduces experimental time because it allows fast and efficient evaluation of parameters for binding and elution conditions. This format is a quicker alternative to several consecutive tests on chromatographic column.
In recent decades much work has been done on the development and optimisation of chromatographic supports in order to achieve efficient purification of biomolecules.
In the presented study we have investigated hydrodynamic and chromatographic properties of weak anion-exchange grafted monoliths (DEAE). Varying the concentration of the grafted polymer, grafted monoliths with different layer thickness and degree of branching were obtained. This results in a different hydrodynamic and chromatographic behavior of the examined monoliths such as permeability, ionic capacity and dynamic binding capacity (DBC) for the BSA protein. The DBC increases with the grafted layer thickness probably due to higher number of binding sites available for binding of the macromolecules. However, longer chains contribute to the reduction of the pore volume which results in a higher pressure drop. The latter can be additionally increased when biomolecules of interest are bound to the matrix. From this data information about the penetration depth into the grafted layer can be obtained giving an insight into the binding mechanism. Since the flow-unaffected properties were preserved even for large biomolecules, grafted monoliths may become a resin of choice for downstream processing of various macromolecules.
CIMac™ Analytical Columns are high-performance monolithic columns offering all the advantages of a special continuous short polymeric bed and are primarily intended for fast, efficient and reproducible separations of biomolecules like large proteins – antibodies (IgG, IgM), plasmid DNA, phages and viral particles. Their small volume and short column length allow the operation at high volumetric flow rates (from 1 to 30 column volumes/min) thus enabling receiving the information about the product quantity and purity in just a few minutes. These columns are pre-packed in dedicated stainless steel housings and allow user friendly connections to HPLC equipment. The product family offers strong cation exchange, strong and weak anion exchange and specialty analytical column for plasmid DNA. All columns can be effectively used for the in-process and final control of various samples from different purification process steps.
The biotechnological production of recombinants proteins consists of two main processes, upstream (biosynthesis) and downstream (protein purification) process. During the last decades the upstream process for mammalian cell culture has been improved significantly yielding in high amounts of protein. This development however led to a new challenge : the downstream process became a bottle-neck because of the large amounts of protein per batch in combination with the protein specific behaviors at high concentration.
In protein purification preparative chromatography is synonymous to “column chromatography”, and the favorable statics of a column are out of question for the physical requirements of beaded matrices. However, when approaching larger scales the physical dimensions of chromatography columns turn unfavorable: shallow gel beds of wide diameters. The footprint of such device increases drastically as does the weight, consequently resulting in limitations regarding floor space and floor bearing force.
A suitable chromatographic base matrix that is not obliged to a distinctive column design is a single piece of polymer – a monolith. Leaving the conventional column design, we have constructed a device for a monolith of rectangular shape, with the size of the monolith only limited by total weight (e.g. for handling and / or transportation). Using this design in a modular way, the individual modules can be stacked to make use of the height of a room at a very low footprint. A specific distribution system for feeding the monolith modules has been designed to allow a true linear scale-up from laboratory to large technical scale.
Membrane based anion exchangers are being used increasingly for purification of monoclonal antibodies. The transition from particle-based anion exchangers is driven partly by the convenience of membranes and partly by the cost saving associated with their disposability, however the feature that makes them functionally superior is more effective mass transport.