Digitally Enabled Generic Analytical Framework Accelerating the Pace of Liquid Chromatography Method Development for Vaccine Adjuvant Formulations

15 April 2024, Version 1


The growing use of adjuvants in the fast-paced formulation of new vaccines has created an unprecedented need for meaningful analytical assays that deliver reliable quantitative data from complex adjuvant and adjuvant-antigen mixtures. Due to their complex chemical and physical properties, method development for the separation of vaccine adjuvants is considered a highly challenging and laborious task. Reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) is among the most important tests in the (bio)pharmaceutical industry for release and stability indicating measurements including adjuvant content, identity, and purity profile. However, the time constraints of developing “on-demand” robust quantitative methods prior to each change in formulation can easily lead to sample analysis becoming a bottleneck in vaccine development. Herein a simple and efficient generic analytical framework capable of chromatographically resolving the most commonly used non-aluminum based adjuvants across academic and industrial sectors is introduced. This was designed to seek a more proactive approach for fast-paced assay development endeavors that evolved from extensive stationary phase screening in conjunction with multifactorial in silico simulations of adjuvant retention time (RT) as a function of gradient time, temperature, organic modifier blending, and buffer concentration. The multifactorial retention models yield 3D resolution maps with excellent baseline separation of all adjuvants in a single run, which was found to be very accurate, with differences between experimental and simulated retention times of less than 1%. The analytical framework described here also includes the introduction of a more versatile approach to method development by introducing a dynamic RT database for adjuvants covering the entire library of adjuvants with broad mechanisms of action across numerous vaccine formulations with excellent linearity, accuracy, precision, and specificity. The power of this framework was also demonstrated with numerous analytical assays that can be generated rapidly from simulations guiding vaccine processes in the development of new adjuvant formulations. Analytical assay in this work covers content, purity profile by RPLC-UV-CAD, and component identification (RPLC-MS) across complex vaccine formulations, including the use of surfactants (e.g., polysorbates), as well as their separation from adjuvant targets.


Reversed-phase liquid chromatography
vaccine adjuvant formulations
automated screening
computer-assisted optimization
charged aerosol detection


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.