No literature on the protein stabilization of human serum albumin (HSA) by vacuum foam drying (VFD) has been reported. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of sugar-additive systems on the stability of HSA by VFD. For the assessment, HSA was formulated with sucrose and mannitol, respectively, alone or in combination with stabilizers, which were vacuum foam dried and stored at 25°C. Protein content of the resulting dried formulations was analyzed by Lowry method. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis of the HSA secondary structure showed apparent protein structure-stabilizing effects of the amorphous sugar and phosphate combination during the VFD. In particular, sucrose-sodium phosphate monobasic mixture provide an interesting alternative to pure saccharide formulations due to their high glass transition temperatures and their increased ability to maintain a low melting transition temperature in the presence of small amounts of water. Inhibition of the sucrose crystallization in solutions under vacuum resulted in highly amorphous sucrose. Changes in the endothermic melting transition suggested reduced sucrose molecular mobility with increase in the sodium phosphate ratio. The addition of phosphate salts to sugar systems has several interesting features that merit its consideration in formulations to protect dehydrated labile biomaterials. In conclusion, our data suggest that sucrose and phosphate as additives seem to protect HSA during VFD better than lyophilized products and also maintain its stability in the VFD state during storage.
Keywords: Vacuum foam drying, human serum albumin, sucrose, phosphates, glass transition temperature, stability