Endotoxin contamination in wound dressings made of natural biomaterials

J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2003 Jul 15;66(1):347-55. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.10020.


Contamination by endotoxin of nine kinds of wound dressings made of natural biomaterials (calcium alginate, collagen, chitin, and poly-L-leucine) was examined with the use of water extracts. By applying the Limulus amoebocyte lysate (LAL) test, high concentrations of endotoxin were detected in extracts from three kinds of products made of calcium alginate. These extracts evoked fever in rabbits and induced the release of a proinflammatory (pyrogenic) cytokine, interleukin-6 (IL-6), from human monocytic cells (MM6-CA8). The effects disappeared when the extracts were treated with endotoxin-removing gel column chromatography or with an endotoxin antagonist, B464, confirming that the contaminating pyrogen was endotoxin. A noteworthy finding was that one of the endotoxin-containing extracts showed very weak IL-6-inducibility in human monocytic cells in contrast to its high pyrogenicity to rabbits. The discrepancy could be explained based on differences between humans and rabbits in sensitivity to the endotoxin, because the extract showed higher proinflammatory-cytokine (TNF-alpha)-inducibility in rabbit whole-blood cells (WBCs) than human WBCs. The results suggest that the LAL test is a useful method of detecting endotoxin contamination in wound dressings and the MM6-CA8 assay is a good supplement to the LAL test for evaluating pyrogenicity in humans accurately.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bandages / adverse effects*
  • Biocompatible Materials / toxicity*
  • Blood Cells / drug effects
  • Blood Cells / immunology
  • Drug Contamination
  • Endotoxins / analysis
  • Endotoxins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Endotoxins / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Limulus Test
  • Lipid A / analogs & derivatives*
  • Lipid A / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Materials Testing
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Pyrogens / analysis
  • Pyrogens / toxicity
  • Rabbits
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis


  • B 464
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Endotoxins
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipid A
  • Pyrogens
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha