Structural Stability of Recombinant Human Growth Hormone (r-hGH) as a Function of Polymer Surface Properties

  • Vaishnavi Rohitkumar Shah
  • Pardeep K. Gupta
Research Paper



Despite the fact that r-hGH was first approved for use by FDA in 1995 and the conventional dosage form in the market has a limitation of daily subcutaneous injections, there remains a lack of sustained delivery system in the market. Nutropin depot, a long-acting dosage form of r-hGH was approved for marketing by FDA in 1999, however, it was discontinued in 2004. Since then, unabating efforts have been made to develop biodegradable polymer based formulations for r-hGH delivery. However, grey area is the comprehension of structural stability of r-hGH at an interface with the polymer and it is of utmost important to attain safe and efficacious sustained delivery system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the changes in structure of r-hGH upon adsorption at biodegradable PLGA nanoparticles of different hydrophobicity as a function of pH.


DLS, fluorescence spectroscopy, and CD were collectively employed to evaluate structural changes in r-hGH.


The studies revealed that r-hGH is most stable with low to high hydrophobicity PLGA grades under pH 7.2 followed by 5.3.


Overall, the nature and magnitude of structural changes observed has a strong dependence on the pH and differences and degree of hydrophobicity of PLGA.


circular dichroism spectroscopy (CD) dynamic light scattering (DLS) fluorescence spectroscopy nanoparticles poly (lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) secondary structure tertiary structure 


% w/v

Percentage weight by volume


Bovine serum albumin


Circular dichroism


Hydrodynamic diameter


Dynamic light scattering


Gram per cubic centimeter




2-(N-morpholine)-ethane sulphonic acid








Molecular weight


Molecular weight cut off




Polydispersity index


Isoelectric point

PLGA 5050 1A

Poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid uncapped polymer, ~ 10 kDa

PLGA 5050 5E

Poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid ester endcapped polymer, ~ 50 kDa

PLGA 8515 3 CE

Poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid ester endcapped polymer, ~30 kDa




Recombinant human growth hormone


Standard Deviation










Surface Coverage


Plateau Surface Coverage


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the Sciences in PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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