Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors have emerged as gene therapy and vaccine delivery systems. Differential scanning fluorimetry or differential scanning calorimetry is commonly used to measure the thermal stability of AAVs, but these global methods are unable to distinguish the stabilities of different AAV subpopulations in the same sample. To address this challenge, we combined charge detection-mass spectrometry (CD-MS) with a variable temperature (VT) electrospray source that controls the temperature of the solution prior to electrospray. Using VT-CD-MS, we measured the thermal stabilities of empty and filled capsids. We found that filled AAVs ejected their cargo first and formed intermediate empty capsids before completely dissociating. Finally, we observed that pH stress caused a major decrease in thermal stability. This new approach better characterizes the thermal dissociation of AAVs, providing the simultaneous measurement of the stabilities and dissociation pathways of different subpopulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry