TRIS-HCl used in mRNA vaccines

Development background of mRNA vaccines

Over the years, traditional vaccines such as inactivated vaccines, inactivated vaccines, and subunit vaccines have encountered many bottlenecks in the development process. For example, certain pathogens can evade the immune response formed by the acquired immune system, while traditional vaccines cannot fight against non-communicable diseases such as cancer. In addition, many traditional vaccines cannot be developed and produced on a large scale, quickly, and at low cost. People urgently need a new type of vaccine to solve the above problems, which gave birth to the birth of mRNA vaccines.[2]

Advantages of mRNA vaccines[2]

  • mRNA carrier is a non-infectious vector, and there is no potential risk of insertion mutation or infection.
  • It can be formulated and modified to reduce immunogenicity, extend half-life, and improve stability and safety.
  • The mRNA carrier is the smallest unit of the carrier, which can avoid anti-carrier immunity and can be administered repeatedly.
  • Due to the high yield of the in vitro transcription reaction, it can be developed and manufactured on a large scale, quickly, and at low cost.

Currently, there are two mRNA vaccines among the COVID-19 vaccines urgently authorized by the US FDA. The following introduces the buffer components and applications of the existing Modena mRNA vaccines.

The ingredients of Moderna Vaccines[1]


Used for

Lipid SM-102




DSPC (1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine)


PEG2000-DMG (1,2-Dimyristoyl-rac-glycero-3-methoxypolyethylene glycol*-2000)

Used to prepare lipid nanoparticles for mRNA delivery.

Trometamol (Tris)

Buffer, maintain pH

Trometamol hydrochloride (Tris HCl)

Buffer, preservative, excipient

Acetic acid


Sodium acetate trihydrate




Water for Injection



Further reading:What are the applications of biological buffers in the pharmaceutical field?


Tris-HCl plays a very important role in mRNA vaccines formulation. TRIS-HCl(CAS 1185-53-1) buffer is a zwitterionic biological buffer that can stabilize and prevent pH fluctuations in the solution. It has the characteristics of maintaining physiological ionic strength and preventing the formation of insoluble products with other ions and is often used to prepare Lysis Buffer.[4]。 For example, in TCA precipitation and Western blotting, RIPA (Radioimmunoprecipitation Analysis) buffer containing TRIS-HClis used to cleave the protease inhibitor.[6]

In the process of designing and producing recombinant minifibritin folded protein for mRNA vaccine, it is necessary to use an elution buffer containing TRIS-HCl to purify the protein,[3] Moderna also uses TRIS-HCl as an excipient, due to Tris -HCl (CAS 1185-53-1) is a hydroxyl radical scavenger, which has the effect of stabilizing nucleic acid macromolecules,[5]which can ensure the storage quality of mRNA vaccines and avoid the inactivation of active ingredients.

Contact Usto get more about TRIS-HCl information。

Learn more about Hopax TRIS-HCl


Further reading: The application of Sulfobutyl ether beta-cyclodextrin (SEβCD)


[1]Advising individuals with allergies on their suitability for COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna

[2] mRNA vaccines — a new era in vaccinology

[3] SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine design enabled by prototype pathogen preparedness


[5]mRNA-lipid nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccines: Structure and stability

[6]Strong Immune Responses Induced by Direct Local Injections of Modified mRNA-Lipid Nanocomplexes

Release date:2021.06.30