A rapid and quantitative technique for assessing IgG monomeric purity, calibrated with the NISTmAb reference material

Peter Reader, Rouslan Olkhov, Shaun Reeksting, A T Lubben, Christopher Hyde, Andrew Shaw

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4 Citations (SciVal)


The fraction of intact monomer in a sample (moles/moles), the monomeric purity, is measured as a quality control in therapeutic monoclonal antibodies but is often unknown in research samples and remains a major source of variation in quantitative antibody-based techniques such as immunoassay development. Here, we describe a novel multiplex technique for estimating the monomeric purity and antigen affinity of research grade antibody samples. Light scattering was used to simultaneously observe the mass of antibody binding to biosensor surfaces functionalised with antigen (revealing Fab binding kinetics) or protein A/G (PAG). Initial estimates of monomeric purity in 7 antibody samples including a therapeutic infliximab biosimilar were estimated by observing a mass deficit on the PAG surface compared to the NISTmAb standard of high monomeric purity. Monomeric purity estimates were improved in a second step by observing the mass of antigen binding to the mass of antibody on the PAG surface. The NISTmAb and infliximab biosimilar displayed tightly controlled stoichiometries for antigen binding of 1.31 ± 0.57 and 1.71 ± 0.16 (95% confidence interval)—within the theoretical limit of 1–2 antigens per antibody depending on avidity. The other antibodies in the panel displayed antigen binding stoichiometries in the range 0.06–1.15, attributed to lower monomeric purity. The monomeric purity estimates were verified by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI), the gold standard technique for structural characterization of antibodies. ESI data indicated that the NISTmAb and infliximab biosimilar samples had monomeric purity values of 93.5% and 94.7%, respectively, whilst the research grade samples were significantly lower (54–89%). Our results demonstrate rapid quality control testing for monomeric purity of antibody samples (< 15 min) which could improve the reproducibility of antibody-based experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6487-6496
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number24
Early online date2 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Antibody
  • Biosensor
  • Immunoassay
  • Monomeric purity
  • NISTmAb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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