Investigation of the Freeze-Thawing Process for Pharmaceutical Formulations of a Model Protein
Sammanfattning: Recent advances in recombinant DNA technology have resulted in a great number of proteins with a potential to enter pharmaceutical formulations. The most commonly used method for preparing protein pharmaceuticals is by freeze-drying. Freezing is an important step in this process and therefore a deeper investigation of the freeze-thawing process is qualified.The aim of the thesis was to investigate the protection of protein during freeze-thawing. The effects on the recovered activity of the protein by different protective additives and different temperature history were evaluated, together with the protection mechanism on a molecular level.Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was used as a model protein. The systems were examined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC and MTDSC), IR-, NMR- and fluorescence spectroscopy as well as surface tension measurements.The additives Tween 80 and Brij 35 are non-ionic surfactants and both protected LDH during freeze-thawing in concentrations far below cmc. The non-surface active polymer PEG 6000 had a protecting ability in very low concentrations. The protection was strongly affected by the temperature history; an increased freezing rate decreased the recovered activity. The optimum protecting concentration of Tween was also dependent on the cmc. During freezing below -20ºC no liquid water or amorphous ice was detected, all water was crystallized to polycrystalline ice. The relative degree of crystallinity could be determined by MTDSC at melting but not during crystallization, since it is a very fast process.An interaction between protein and additive is not necessarily required for protection at these low concentrations of additives. An interaction was observed between LDH and PEG but very weak or no interaction at all between LDH and the non-ionic surfactants. The protein was in all cases in the native state.The protective mechanisms are quite complex, but the amount of ice surface created during freezing is crucial for the protection. The non-ionic surfactants are able to hinder the protein from destructive interactions with the ice crystals by competing for adsorption at the ice surface. PEG can prevent LDH from denaturation at the ice surface by adsorption of a PEG hydrate that is formed only with certain temperature history.
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