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Electrophoretic Microfluidic Characterization of mRNA- and pDNA-Loaded Lipid Nanoparticles

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posted on 2024-05-16, 16:05 authored by Adriana Coll De Peña, Daniel Zimmer, Everett Gutterman-Johns, Nicole M. Chen, Anubhav Tripathi, Christina M. Bailey-Hytholt
Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are clinically advanced nonviral gene delivery vehicles with a demonstrated ability to address viral, oncological, and genetic diseases. However, the further development of LNP therapies requires rapid analytical techniques to support their development and manufacturing. The method developed and described in this paper presents an approach to rapidly and accurately analyze LNPs for optimized therapeutic loading by utilizing an electrophoresis microfluidic platform to analyze the composition of LNPs with different clinical lipid compositions (Onpattro, Comirnaty, and Spikevax) and nucleic acid (plasmid DNA (pDNA) and messenger RNA (mRNA)) formulations. This method enables the high-throughput screening of LNPs using a 96- or 384-well plate with approximate times of 2–4 min per sample using a total volume of 11 μL. The lipid analysis requires concentrations approximately between 109 and 1010 particles/mL and has an average precision error of 10.4% and a prediction error of 19.1% when compared to using a NanoSight, while the nucleic acid analysis requires low concentrations of 1.17 ng/μL for pDNA and 0.17 ng/μL for mRNA and has an average precision error of 4.8% and a prediction error of 9.4% when compared to using a PicoGreen and RiboGreen assay. In addition, our method quantifies the relative concentration of nucleic acid per LNP. Utilizing this approach, we observed an average of 263 ± 62.2 mRNA per LNP and 126.3 ± 21.2 pDNA per LNP for the LNP formulations used in this study, where the accuracy of these estimations is dependent on reference standards. We foresee the utility of this technique in the high-throughput characterization of LNPs during manufacturing and formulation research and development.

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