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What We Do
Chesapeake Limulabs is a leading global provider of limulus amebocyte lystae (LAL) products and horseshoe crab blood. We supply horseshoe crab blood for cGMP production and research purposes and manufacture LAL reagents for diagnostic endotoxin and β-glucan testing of products in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Choose from our selection of gel clot or quantitative assays, or let us manufacture custom reagents for your company or institution.
Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) Assay
The Limulus Polyphemus species of horseshoe crab has existed for approximately 20 million years and is found in select regions of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast of North America. The Limulus species has evolved to develop a natural defense mechanism to prevent the spread of infection through the bloodstream. Enzymes, Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL), are produced in the blood cells and secreted into the blood plasma to coagulate & form a gel-like substance in the presence of bacteria and other harmful contaminants, effectively preventing them from spreading through the body.
In modern times, LAL is used by scientists worldwide to test for the safety of injectable drugs (such as insulin, vaccines, & other biopharmaceuticals), invasive medical devices (such as catheters, stents, & implants), and other medical equipment (such as IV bags, saline, & syringes). LAL is highly-sensitive and capable of detecting contaminants such as bacteria, endotoxins, and β-glucans which are often used and left behind in the production of biopharmaceutical drugs. If allowed to enter the human bloodstream, these contaminants can cause severe immune reactions and even death.
Horseshoe crab blood is extracted from the crabs, LAL is purified from the blood, and the LAL is processed into endotoxin and β-glucan test-kits. Only a safe amount of blood is harvested, and crabs are released back into their natural waters by the next day. LAL assays are the most effective method for endotoxin/β-glucan testing available on the market and are required by the FDA and other international regulatory bodies. Hundreds of millions of products worldwide are tested with LAL assays each year.
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