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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Automation of chromogenic substrate Limulus amebocyte lysate assay method for endotoxin by robotic system

K Tsuji, P A Martin, D M Bussey
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 1984, 48 (3): 550-5
6388501
The chromogenic substrate Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) assay method for the detection of endotoxin was automated by a Zymate robotic system. The software developed enables the robot to automatically dilute a stock reference endotoxin standard (20,000 endotoxin units per ml) for the construction of a five-point standard curve, make sample dilutions to the proper testing concentration, and perform chromogenic substrate LAL assays in duplicate. The linearity of the standard curve and the endotoxin concentration in each sample are calculated and results are printed automatically. In 48 min the automated system assays three samples and a reference standard in duplicate along with a water blank. Sensitivity of the assay is a function of incubation time. The assay is linear (r greater than 0.99) in the region of 0 to 1.0 endotoxin units per ml or 0 to 0.2 endotoxin units per ml with incubation times of 10 or 16 min, respectively. The method can be made very sensitive, detecting as low as 0.003 endotoxin units per ml with 30 min of incubation. The precision of the assay method, determined by assaying an endotoxin reference solution eight times, is ca. 6%. The LAL reagent designed for gel-clot assay was modified for the chromogenic substrate assay. We describe the optimum conditions for the performance of the chromogenic substrate LAL assay and stability of the LAL reagent.

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