Analysis of biopharmaceuticals and mass spectroscopy
Proteomics is a discipline, which is important in today’s drug market scenario due to the continuous increase in development and research of biopharmaceuticals for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. Biopharmaceuticals are protein drugs and need to be analyzed for the protein post-translational modifications, conformational changes and other degradation pathways. There are many techniques developed for analyzing these complex molecules, which also includes many metabolic and chemical isotope-labeling techniques. One such technique is mass spectroscopy (MS) that has served as a major tool for identification and profiling of protein drugs. MS can be used to determine the isotopic composition of an element within a sample. Labeling with stable isotopes can be used for protein quantification also. MS can also work using label- free techniques. MS can operate on a large scale and has a high throughput, and hence it serves as the most powerful tool to address these purposes of analyzing protein drugs. Moreover, MS can be combined with various other techniques like liquid chromatography (LC), gas chromatography (GC) and another MS system to further optimize the results. This review gives the reader an introduction to the biopharmaceuticals, techniques used to assess them, but it mainly focuses on use of mass spectroscopy for assessment of these protein drugs. Here we detail about different mass spectroscopic methods and their applications for protein assessment. It also compares mass spectroscopy to the conventional methods used for these applications.
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