Raman spectroscopy-based identification of toxoid vaccine products
in: NPJ Vaccines (2018) 50-1
Vaccines are complex biomedicines. Manufacturing is time consuming and requires a high level of quality control (QC) to guarantee consistent safety and potency. An increasing global demand has led to the need to reduce time and cost of manufacturing. The evolving concepts for QC and the upcoming threat of falsification of biomedicines define a new need for methods that allow the fast and reliable identification of vaccines. Raman spectroscopy is a non-invasive technology already established in QC of classical medicines. We hypothesized that Raman spectroscopy could be used for identification and differentiation of vaccine products. Raman maps obtained from air-dried samples of combination vaccines containing antigens from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (DTaP vaccines) were summarized to compile product-specific Raman signatures. Sources of technical variance were identified. The data management approach corrects for spatial inhomogeneities in the dried sample while offering a proper representation of the original samples inherent chemical signature. Reproducibility of the identification was validated by a leave-one replicate-out cross-validation. The results highlighted the high specificity and sensitivity of Raman measurements in identifying DTaP vaccine products. The results pave the way for further exploitation of the Raman technology for identification of vaccines in batch release and cases of suspected falsification.