Analysis and characterization of heparin impurities

Szabolcs Beni, John F.K. Limtiaco, Cynthia K. Larive

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

76 Citations (Scopus)


This review discusses recent developments in analytical methods available for the sensitive separation, detection and structural characterization of heparin contaminants. The adulteration of raw heparin with oversulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS) in 2007-2008 spawned a global crisis resulting in extensive revisions to the pharmacopeia monographs on heparin and prompting the FDA to recommend the development of additional physicochemical methods for the analysis of heparin purity. The analytical chemistry community quickly responded to this challenge, developing a wide variety of innovative approaches, several of which are reported in this special issue. This review provides an overview of methods of heparin isolation and digestion, discusses known heparin contaminants, including OSCS, and summarizes recent publications on heparin impurity analysis using sensors, near-IR, Raman, and NMR spectroscopy, as well as electrophoretic and chromatographic separations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-539
Number of pages13
JournalAnalytical and bioanalytical chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011



  • Adulteration
  • Contamination
  • Heparin
  • Impurity
  • NMR
  • OSCS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

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