A method to measure thrombin activity in a mixture of fibrinogen and thrombin powders

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Abstract

Thrombin and fibrinogen powders are the active components of advanced surgical hemostasis products including the EVARREST Fibrin Sealant Patch. Measuring the enzymatic activity of thrombin in the presence of fibrinogen is challenging, as hydration of the powders in a neutral aqueous environment will cause the enzyme to rapidly react with the fibrinogen to form a fibrin clot, which in turn binds and entraps the enzyme thus preventing subsequent measurement of thrombin activity. A novel approach has been developed to overcome this challenge. After isolation of the mixture of powders, an alkaline carbonate solution is used to solubilize the proteins, while reversibly inhibiting the activity of thrombin and preventing clot formation. Once the powders have been fully solubilized, thrombin activity can be restored by neutralization in a buffered fibrinogen solution resulting in fibrin clot formulation. The rate of clot formation can be quantified in a coagulometer to determine the thrombin activity of the original powder. Samples coated with powders containing fibrinogen and varying amounts of thrombin were tested using the method described herein. The results demonstrated that the method could consistently measure the activity of (alpha) thrombin in the presence of fibrinogen over a broad range of thrombin activity levels. The test was successfully validated according to International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use Guidelines and thus is suitable for use as part of a commercial manufacturing process. A method has been developed that enables thrombin activity to be measured in a mixture of fibrinogen and thrombin powders.

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