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The interaction of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with air/water interfaces plays a crucial role in their overall stability in solution. We aim to understand this behavior using pendant bubble measurements to track the dynamic tension reduction and x-ray reflectivity to obtain the electron density profiles (EDPs) at the surface. Native immunoglobulin G mAb is a rigid molecule with a flat, “Y” shape, and simulated EDPs are obtained by rotating a homology construct at the surface. Comparing simulations with experimental EDPs, we obtain surface orientation probability maps showing mAbs transition from flat-on Y-shape configurations to side-on or end-on configurations with increasing concentration. The modeling also shows the presence of β sheets at the surface. Overall, the experiments and the homology modeling elucidate the orientational phase space during different stages of adsorption of mAbs at the air/water interface. These finding will help define new strategies for the manufacture and storage of antibody-based therapeutics.


This work was originally published in Science Advances, available at

Copyright © 2021 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).



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