Self-Interaction of Human Serum Albumin: A Formulation Perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Pernille Sønderby
  • Jens T. Bukrinski
  • Max Hebditch
  • Günther H.J. Peters
  • Pernille Harris


In the present study, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and static light scattering (SLS) have been used to study the solution properties and self-interaction of recombinant human serum albumin (rHSA) molecules in three pharmaceutically relevant buffer systems. Measurements are carried out up to high protein concentrations and as a function of ionic strength by adding sodium chloride to probe the role of electrostatic interactions. The effective structure factors (Seff) as a function of the scattering vector magnitude q have been extracted from the scattering profiles and fit to the solution of the Ornstein-Zernike equation using a screened Yukawa potential to describe the double-layer force. Although only a limited q range is used, accurate fits required including an electrostatic repulsion element in the model at low ionic strength, while only a hard sphere model with a tunable diameter is necessary for fitting to high-ionic-strength data. The fit values of net charge agree with available data from potentiometric titrations. Osmotic compressibility data obtained by extrapolating the SAXS profiles or directly from SLS measurements has been fit to a 10-term virial expansion for hard spheres and an equation of state for hard biaxial ellipsoids. We show that modeling rHSA as an ellipsoid, rather than a sphere, provides a much more accurate fit for the thermodynamic data over the entire concentration range. Osmotic virial coefficient data, derived at low protein concentration, can be used to parameterize the model for predicting the behavior up to concentrations as high as 450 g/L. The findings are especially important for the biopharmaceutical sector, which require approaches for predicting concentrated protein solution behavior using minimal sample consumption.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16105-16117
Number of pages13
JournalACS Omega
Issue number11
Early online date28 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018