Introduction: Structural characterization of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is critical to meet biosimilarity standards. In this context, the review focuses on structural analysis of labile sulfates attached to the side-groups of LMWH using mass spectrometry. A comprehensive review of this topic will help readers to identify key strategies for tackling the problem related to sulfate loss. At the same time, various mass spectrometry techniques are presented to facilitate compositional analysis of LMWH, mainly enoxaparin. Areas covered: This review summarizes findings on mass spectrometry application for LMWH, including modulation of sulfates, using enzymology and sample preparation approaches. Furthermore, popular open-source software packages for automated spectral data interpretation are also discussed. Successful use of LC/MS can decipher structural composition for LMWH and help evaluate their sameness or biosimilarity with the innovator molecule. Overall, the literature has been searched using PubMed by typing various search queries such as ‘enoxaparin’, ‘mass spectrometry’, ‘low molecular weight heparin’, ‘structural characterization’, etc. Expert commentary: This section highlights clinically relevant areas that need improvement to achieve satisfactory commercialization of LMWHs. It also primarily emphasizes the advancements in instrumentation related to mass spectrometry, and discusses building automated software for data interpretation and analysis.
- Low molecular weight heparin
- mass spectrometry
- size exclusion chromatography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology