Selection of an analytical method for evaluating bovine serum albumin concentrations in pharmaceutical polymeric formulations

Bovine serum albumin (BSA) is a commonly used model protein in the development of pharmaceutical formulations. In order to assay its release from various dosage forms, either the bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assay or a more specific size-exclusion high performance liquid chromatography (SE-HPLC) method are commonly employed. However, these can give erroneous results in the presence of some commonly used pharmaceutical excipients. We therefore investigated the ability of these methods to accurately determine BSA concentrations in pharmaceutical formulations that also contained various polymers and compared them with a new reverse-phase (RP)-HPLC technique.

We found that the RP-HPLC technique was the most suitable method. It gave a linear response in the range of 0.5–100 μg/ml with a correlation co-efficient of 0.9999, a limit of detection of 0.11 μg/ml and quantification of 0.33 μg/ml. The performed ‘t’-test for the estimated and theoretical concentrations indicated no significant difference between them providing the accuracy. Low % relative standard deviation values (0.8–1.39%) indicate the precision of the method. Furthermore, the method was used to quantify in vitro BSA release from polymeric freeze-dried formulations.

Manish Umrethiaa, Vicky L. Kett, a, , Gavin P. Andrewsa, R. Karl Malcolma and A. David Woolfsona

a School of Pharmacy, Medical Biology Centre, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland, UK