FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Endotoxin testing. Scientist holding negative (top) and positive (bottom) samples from a test for bacterial endotoxin. Endotoxin is a component of the outer membrane of the cell wall of Gram negative bacteria. It can be present even after a sample has been sterilised. If injected into the body, it causes fever. To ensure that medicines or medical devices are endotoxin free, they are tested by mixing a sample with an extract from the blood of the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus). This extract, limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL), causes clotting in the presence of endotoxin.
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