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Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2005 Feb;59(2):251-61.

Spray-drying of proteins: effects of sorbitol and trehalose on aggregation and FT-IR amide I spectrum of an immunoglobulin G.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen, Germany.


An immunoglobulin G (IgG) was spray-dried on a Buchi 190 laboratory spray-dryer at inlet and outlet air temperatures of 130 and 190 degrees C, respectively. The IgG solution contains initially 115 mg/ml IgG plus 50 mg/ml sorbitol. After dialysis, at least 80% of low molecular weight component was removed. After spray-drying the dialyzed IgG and immediate redissolution of the powder, an increase in aggregates from 1 to 17% occurred. A major shift towards increase beta-sheet structure was detected in the spray-dried solid, which, however, reverted to native structure on redissolution of the powder. A correlation between aggregation determined by size exclusion chromatography and alterations in secondary structure determined by Fourier transformation infra-red spectroscopy could not therefore be established. On spray-drying a non-dialyzed, sorbitol-containing IgG only some 0.7% aggregates were formed. The sorbitol is therefore evidently able to stabilize partially the IgG during the process of spray-drying. Addition of trehalose to the liquid feed produced quantitatively the same stabilizing action on the IgG during spray-drying as did the sorbitol. This finding again points towards a water replacement stabilization mechanism. The IgG spray-dried powder prepared from the dialyzed liquid feed showed continued substantial aggregation on dry storage at 25 degrees C. This was substantially less in the non-dialyzed, sorbitol-containing spray-dried powder. Addition of trehalose to both dialyzed and non-dialyzed system produced substantial improvement in storage stability and reduction in aggregate formation in storage. The quantitative stabilizing effect of the trehalose was only slightly higher than that of the sorbitol. Taken together, these results indicate that both the sorbitol and trehalose stabilize the IgG primarily by a water replacement mechanism rather than by glassy immobilization. The relevance of this work is its questioning of the importance of the usually considered dominance of glassy stabilization of protein in dried systems of high glass transition temperature, such as trehalose. The low glass transition temperature sorbitol produces almost equal process and storage stability in this case.

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