A new analytical tool, Electrical Asymmetrical Flow Field-Flow Fractionation (EAF4) is showing much promise in biopharmaceutical and nanoparticle applications.
Traditional separation technology in these fields provides particle size or molar mass distributions as the final result. It is clear, however, that particle and molecular charge plays a primary role in many applications such as protein aggregation, polymer flocculation, particle agglomeration and in pharmaceutical formulations in general.
The new Postnova EAF2000 instrument using EAF4 technology opens a completely new way to a significantly better understanding of these phenomena by allowing the particle size or molar mass distributions to be further differentiated and transformed into charge distributions. This allows identifying charge heterogeneities, which may be present within the different size and molar mass fractions and will quickly help to aid research or establish more efficient product development processes.
The EAF2000 instrument works by combining the principle of electrical and flow field-flow fractionation (FFF) in one experiment. In flow FFF the molecules and particles are gently separated in an open channel which avoids any interaction with column packing material keeping aggregation and structures intact. The electrical field, either positive or negative, can now be applied during this separation to differentiate between differently charged species of the same size or molecular weight.
The new Postnova EAF2000 technology is also designed in such a way that it allows the determination of the electrophoretic mobility (or zeta-potential) of the separated analytes under investigation. This is a key new tool, particularly for protein research as existing techniques for zeta-potential are limited by concentration and are simple batch techniques giving just an average value for all components in the solution. The new EAF2000 can determine the zeta-potential of each individually separated component such as protein monomer and dimer (or higher aggregates) or antibody monomer and fragments/aggregates.
Early successes with the technology have been found in applications as diverse as the separation of a positively charged pharmaceutical protein formulation, determination of the difference in zeta-potential of protein monomer and dimer and the differentiation of charge on polymer latex particles.
There is the first chance to see this technology in action on 6 March at the 2nd Postnova FFF Seminar at the company’s UK headquarters in Malvern (UK). Following the popularity of the first Postnova first seminar, an informative program of talks from eminent guest speakers, plus presentations from Postnova scientists has been assembled.
The free 2018 seminar has been designed to advance the attendees knowledge of applications and techniques in nanoscale characterisation. The seminar will be particularly useful to those interested in using FFF, Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC/GPC) and Light Scattering/Viscometry (MALS/DLS), as well as those interested in how these techniques may be useful in their research.