Continuous measurement of endotoxin concentration in dialysate, using a separated endotoxin-specific limulus reagent, promises rapid measurement without the complex operating procedures of the limulus reagent. To achieve high sensitivity measurements in a short period of time, an improved system featuring stopped-flow operation was developed. To prevent dispersion of the limulus reagent and residence of reacting solution containing the limulus reagent in the system reactor, the circuit in the reactor was changed from a coil configuration to a straight line, and its length was reduced. An endotoxin test solution was supplied at 760 μl/min, into which 40 μl of limulus reagent was pulse-injected. Flow was stopped at the point where the test solution entered the reactor. After the completion of the reaction, the solution was passed through a spectrophotometer and the relationship between reaction time and absorbance was determined. Peak tailing was less than that obtained by the conventional technique, good correlation was obtained from the peak height, and a decrease in sensitivity caused by broadening of the peak was suppressed. The lower detection limit of dialysate was 100 endotoxin units (EU)/L at a reaction time of 20 minutes, and 60 EU/L at 30 minutes. Change from the monitoring system to stop-flow operation made high sensitivity monitoring of endotoxin concentration with a short reaction time possible.
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