Preliminary assessment of removal of pyrogenic lipopolysaccharides with colloidal zirconia adsorbents

Daniel W. Karl, Julia C. Magnusson, Peter W. Carr, Michael C. Flickinger

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Preliminary evaluation of bare or polymer-coated colloidal monoclinic zirconia of nominal particle size 100 nm indicated that it is an effective adsorbent for pyrogenic lipopolysaccharides (LPS) as measured by chemical and Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) assays. Zirconia at 50 μm ml-1 adsorbed 99.95% of added E. coli O128 LPS. Residual LPS levels below 0.1 ng ml-1 were easily attained. Collidal zirconia was able to remove LPS from solution in the presence of bovine albumin (BSA). Some LPS contaminating BSA lacked affinity for zirconia. Preadsorption of phosphate onto bare zirconia blocked LPS adsorption. However, phosphated-oligomeric glycidyl (epoxy) pentaerythritol-coated colloidal zirconia could be derivatized with imidazole-containing ligands to produce an LPS-binding surface. Preliminary results of adsorption of LPS by the coated particles indicated a reduced level of LPS binding compared to bare zirconia, probably because the particles aggregated during the derivatization process, reducing the effective surface available for LPS adsorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-715
Number of pages8
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Rod Kuehn for instruction, sample preparation, and operation of the electron microscope, Tom Krick for the NMR spectra, and Chan Wha Kim and Eric Funkenbusch of 3M for zirconia samples. This research was supported in part by grants from 3M and the Industry-University Center for Biocatalytic Processing, administered by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Biological Process Technology, University of Minnesota.


  • E. coli pyrogen removal
  • Pyrogenic lipopolysaccharides
  • colloidal zirconia


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