Measuring Cholesterol Content for mRNA Vaccines


Cholesterol plays an essential role in the viral replication machinery and immune activation [1].

It is also used as part of the lipid adjuvants of mRNA vaccines, among others, and facilitates the entry of the vaccine into the human cell [2].

The Varipol B by SCHMIDT + HAENSCH is the ideal polarimeter for this analysis, which is also required by the US Pharmacopeia [4]. With the integrated CRF-21 Part 11 (electronic signature), it also complies with current FDA regulations.

Cholesterol is an optically active substance with a known specific rotation of

-31.6 °dm-1g-1cm3 in diethyl ether [589 nm and 20°C] [3].

It can be measured in a polarimeter equipped with a standard wavelength of 589 nm and a temperature-controlled tube of 100 mm length.



1. Altan-Bonnet, N., Lipid Tales of Viral Replication and Transmission. Trends Cell Biol, 2017. 27(3): p. 201-213. 2. Reichmuth, A.M., et al., mRNA vaccine delivery using lipid nanoparticles. Ther Deliv, 2016. 7(5): p. 319-34. 3. Landolt, D.H., Rotationsconstanten activer Körper, in Das optische Drehungsvermögen organischer Substanzen. 1879, Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn: Braunschweig. p. 234. 4. Convention, U.S.P., The United States Pharmacopeia, in NF Monographs – Cholesterol. 2019, THE UNITED STATES PHARMACOPEIALCONVENTION: 12601 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville, MD 20852.


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