Why does endotoxin matter?

Endotoxins, also referred to as “LPS” or Lipopolysaccharides, are large molecules that are found in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria and have profound in vivo responses. They can form micelles/vesicles with high molecular weight.

The human immune system can detect and react to LPS at very low levels1, not only this triggers an inflammatory reaction in the human body, it is also undesirable in clinical applications and regulated by the FDA for medical devices. Also, during in vitro testing, endotoxin levels as low as 0.01 Endotoxin Units (EU) / ml can significantly alter the growth and functionality of cells in culture.

Investigating the influence of endotoxins in gelatin hydrogels on cellular activity

A recent study conducted by the Rousselot Expertise Center in Ghent in collaboration with UMC Utrecht, in the Netherlands, investigated the role of endotoxins in gelatin and their influence on cellular activity. This is relevant to laboratory scientists performing cell culture in pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals and surgical centers, academic research institutes, Contract Research Organizations (CROs), and cell / tissue banks.

During the study, the effects of endotoxins in gelatin hydrogels on mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) cultures were separately examined. It was reported that the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) was higher with X-Pure purified gelatin (<10 EU/g) compared to non-purified gelatin, therefore suggesting better stem cell differentiation in a chondrogenesis assay after 28 days in culture. In PBMC cultures, production of the inflammatory marker TNF-α was significantly higher with non-purified gelatin hydrogels as compared with purified gelatin.

Conference by Jos Olijve

Jos Olijve, Principal scientist and R&D project manager at Rousselot Biomedical will detail the results of the different studies carried out including the one mentioned above in a presentation on the “Influence of Endotoxin on Cellular Activity”. The conference will take place on Wednesday, 6 November 2019 from 15:20 to 15:50 in the Portalhaus, Transparenz 1 Room.

About X-Pure and Rousselot

X-Pure is the first complete range of highly purified gelatins and collagens containing endotoxin levels below 10 EU/g. With a proven track record of gelatin and collagen specifically used in pharmaceutical applications, Rousselot is recognized for its global expertise, as well as the quality, safety and consistency of its products. In-house technical experts at Rousselot provides personalized support to help customers accelerate their research and development.

Rousselot® Biomedical

As the most recent strategic segment within Rousselot, we have drawn upon Rousselot’s 125+ years of worldwide expertise and proven track record of pharmaceutical gelatins and collagens to develop X-Pure®, an innovative range of purified gelatins and collagens specifically designed for (bio)medical applications. Offering unique advantages to assure performance, quality and safety, X-Pure is backed by strong scientific data and on-going research. Rousselot Biomedical is committed to facilitating the use of X-Pure in your applications and to help “Advancing medical science”. Rousselot is a brand of Darling Ingredients.


1 Miyake (2004), Gorbet (2005)