Illustrations for Health Assessment Techniques of the Atlantic Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus



Horseshoe crab blood cells detect extremely small amounts of bacteria allowing them to be used in medicine to test the sterilization of medical devices, vaccines, and implants. This is a worldwide standard test called Limulus Amebocyte Lysate. The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland, has developed guidelines for health examinations that are aimed to improve health maintenance and conservation strategies for horseshoe crabs. Illustrations were created to accompany this specific literature to ensure the overall effectiveness of the material. A total of 28 color illustrations were created to help educate veterinarians, veterinarian technicians, aquarists, and biologists.

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This Vesalius Trust research poster was presented at the 2017
Association of Medical Illustrators' Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas



1. Shuster, Carl N., Barlow, Robert B., and Brockmann, H. Jane. The American Horseshoe Crab. teNeues Publishing, 2003. Print.

2. Botton, Mark L. "The Ecological Importance of Horseshoe Crabs in Estuarine and Coastal Communities: A Review and Speculative Summary." ­Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs. Ed. Mark L. Botton John T. Tanacredi and David R. Smith. Springer Science & Business Media, LLC, 2009. 45–64. Print.

3. Smith, Stephen A. "Chapter 10: Horseshoe Crabs" ­Invertebrate Medicine. Ed. Gregory A. Lewbart. 2nd ed. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 173–185. Print.

4. Novitsky, Thomas J. "Biomedical Applications of Limulus Amebocyte Lysate."­ Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs. Ed. Mark L. Botton, John T. Tanacredi, and David R. Smith. Springer Science & Business Media, LLC, 2009. 315–330. Print.; Anderson, Rebecca L., Winsor H. Watson III, and Christopher C. Chabot. "Sub-Lethal Behavioral and Physiological Effects of the Biomedical Bleeding Process on the American Horseshoe Crab."­ The Biological Bulletin­ 225.3 (2013): 137–151.


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