This study examined physical stability of spray freeze dried (SFD) bovine serum albumin (BSA) solids produced using the radio frequency (RF)-assisted drying technique. BSA formulations were prepared with varying concentrations of trehalose and mannitol, using an excipient-free formulation as control. These formulations were produced using either traditional ultrasonic spray freeze drying (SFD) or RF-assisted ultrasonic spray freeze drying (RFSFD). The dried formulations were then characterized using Karl Fischer moisture content measurement, powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and solid-state hydrogen/deuterium exchange with mass spectrometry (ssHDX-MS). Moisture content did not have a good correlation with the physical stability of the formulations measured by SEC. ssHDX-MS metrics such as deconvoluted peak areas of the deuterated samples showed a satisfactory correlation (R2 = 0.914) with the SEC stability data. RFSFD improved the stability of formulations with 20 mg/ml of trehalose and no mannitol, and had similar stability with all other formulations as compared to SFD. This study demonstrated that RFSFD technique can significantly reduce the duration of primary drying cycle from 48.0 h to 27.5 h while maintaining or improving protein physical stability as compared to traditional lyophilization.
Spray freeze drying, Radio frequency spray freeze drying, Protein structure, Biopharmaceutical processing, Solid formulation