Tuesday, July 16, 2013

FAQ: What are endotoxins?

Structure of endotoxin from E. Coli K-12

Endotoxins are synonymous with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) which are found in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. They are often contaminants in preparations of DNA and protein isolated from bacteria and lead to sepsis if even trace amounts are present. Detection and elimination of LPS is essential for the DNA and protein isolated from bacteria to be used.

BMG LABTECH application note # 237 describes the use of an endotoxin detection kit from Lonza which employs the FLUOstar Optima microplate reader to perform the kinetic quantitation. Since this application relies on absorbance detection it would also be suitable for use on the Omega and PHERAstar series of readers as well as the SPECTROstar Nano, NOVOstar and the new CLARIOstar.