Asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation coupled to surface plasmon resonance detection for analysis of therapeutic proteins in blood serum

Publication year: 2020
Authors: Mats Leeman 1, Willem M. Albers 2, Radoslaw Bombera 2, Johana Kuncova-Kallio 2, Jussipekka Tuppurainen 2, Lars Nilsson 3

1 - SOLVE Research and Consultancy AB, Medicon village, 22381 Lund, Sweden
2 - BioNavis Ltd, Hermiankatu 6-8H, 337 20 Tampere, Finland
3 - Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Faculty of Engineering LTH, Lund University, 22100 Lund, Sweden

Published in: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2020
doi: 10.1007/s00216-020-03011-x

Coupling of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) detection to asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation (AF4) offers the possibility to study active fractions of bio-separations on real samples, such as serum and saliva, including the assessment of activity of possibly aggregated species. The coupling of SPR with AF4 requires the possibility to select fractions from a fractogram and redirect them to the SPR. The combination of SPR with chromatography-like methods also requires a mechanism for regeneration of the receptor immobilised onto the SPR sensor surface. In recent work, the combination of size exclusion chromatography (SEC) with SPR was pioneered as a successful methodology for identification, characterisation and quantification of active biocomponents in biological samples. In this study, the approach using AF4 is evaluated for the antibody trastuzumab in buffer and serum. The particular object of this study was to test the feasibility of using AF4 in combination with SPR to detect and quantify proteins and aggregates in complex samples such as blood serum. Also, in the investigation, three different immobilisation methods for the receptor HER-2 were compared, which involved (1) direct binding via EDC/NHS, the standard approach; (2) immobilisation via NTA-Ni-Histag complexation; and (3) biotin/avidin-linked chemistry using a regenerable form of avidin. The highest specific activity was obtained for the biotin-avidin method, while the lowest specific activity was observed for the NTA-Ni-Histag linkage. The data show that AF4 can separate trastuzumab monomers and aggregates in blood serum and that SPR has the ability to selectively monitor the elution. This is an encouraging result for automated analysis of complex biological samples using AF4-SPR.

MP-SPR keywords: aggregate, antibody, asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation, binding capacity, detection, kinetics, ligand immobilization