Polysorbate identity and quantity dictate the extensional flow properties of protein-excipient solutions

Kathleen T. Lauser, Amy L. Rueter, Michelle A. Calabrese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While protein medications are promising for treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, challenges persist in terms of development and injection stability of high-concentration formulations. Here, the extensional flow properties of protein-excipient solutions are examined via dripping-onto-substrate extensional rheology, using a model ovalbumin (OVA) protein and biocompatible excipients polysorbate 20 (PS20) and 80 (PS80). Despite similar PS structures, differences in extensional flow are observed based on PS identity in two regimes: at moderate total concentrations where surface tension differences drive changes in extensional flow behavior, and at small PS:OVA ratios, which impact the onset of weakly elastic flow behavior. Undesirable elasticity is observed in ultra-concentrated formulations, independent of PS identity; higher PS contents are required to observe these effects than in analogous polymeric excipient solutions. These studies reveal novel extensional flow behaviors in protein-excipient solutions, and provide a straightforward methodology for assessing the extensional flow stability of new protein-excipient formulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere17850
JournalAICHE Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. CON‐75851, project 00074041. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors thank the Anton Paar VIP program for the shear rheometer used in this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. AIChE Journal published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


  • excipient
  • extensional flow
  • polysorbate
  • protein
  • rheology


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