The Answer to Fast, Sensitive, and Simple Released N-Glycan Profiling and Characterization

By March 9, 2015

How quickly can you go from glycosylated protein to glycan fragment confirmation?

Glycan profiling with RapiFluor-MS and ACQUITY QDa.


Now, analyzing released N-glycans takes about as much time as it does for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to erase a 10-point deficit and win a football game.

An exaggeration? Perhaps, but with the help of the new Waters GlycoWorks RapiFluor-MS N-Glycan Kit in combination with Waters ACQUITY UPLC H-Class System, the ACQUITY UPLC FLR and ACQUITY QDa detectors, it’s possible to reach new levels of speed, sensitivity, simplicity for released N-glycan analysis.



This new set of technologies:

  • Enables fast deglycosylation and labeling, and a 3-step workflow that reduces sample preparation time from a day to less than 1 hour;
  • Allows mass detection for characterization and development with sensitivity that is 100 to 1,000-fold better than current approaches;
  • And enables routine laboratory use supported by a simple robust protocol without involving MS experts.

“Our new ground-breaking approach to glycan analyses means that scientists can monitor and characterize released N-glycans like never before,” said Mike Yelle, Vice President, Consumable Business Unit, Waters Division. “The new workflows take what had been a specialized and complicated activity and transform it into one which scientists and laboratories can be successful with.”

Supporting Glycoprotein Process Development, Monitoring and Batch Release

For scientists doing biotherapeutic process development, process monitoring or batch release, pairing the new RapiFluor-MS labeling technology with Waters ACQUITY UPLC H-Class System and QDa Detector ushers in a new era for released N-glycan profile monitoring. The speed and sensitivity advantages of the reagent and protocol enable simple, routine MS analysis. Confirming glycan assignment via mass data produced by the ACQUITY QDa Detector provides information previously unavailable. Scientists are now empowered to answer questions that frequently arise during glycan profile method development, transfer, and execution without relying on mass spectrometry experts and higher-resolution LC-MS instruments.

Supporting Glycan Characterization

Glycan characterization involves the identification of all of the glycans attached to a glycoprotein no matter how small their concentration and verification of their molecular structure. To do this efficiently requires UPLC-MS-MS instrumentation equal to the challenge.

The Waters Glycan Application Solution with UNIFI, part of the broader Waters Biopharmaceutical Platform Solution with UNIFI, introduced in 2013, consists of a high-resolution UPLC/QTof-MS system that characterizes and monitors glycans in biopharmaceutical discovery and development labs as well as in the highly-regulated late-stage development and QC organizations.

Now, with the enhanced sensitivity made possible by the RapiFluor-MS label, researchers will see a greater optical and mass spectrometric response. This facilitates accurate mass confirmation for low-level peaks and enhances MS/MS glycan fragmentation for definitive glycan assignment.


Learn more

Webinar with Genetic Engineering News: Simplifying N-Glycan Analysis with a Fast and Streamlined Workflow and Exquisite Sensitivity
Broadcast Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Time: 11:00 am ET, 8:00 am PT


This article was originally published in Pittcon Today on Monday, March 9, 2015. It was written in collaboration with Jennifer Fournier, product manager at Waters, and Brian J. Murphy, public relations specialist at Waters.