12/11/2019 02:00 PM


12/11/2019 04:00 PM


Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung Branch Adlershof, Building 8.05, Lecture Hall
Richard-Willstätter-Straße 11
12489 Berlin

Organized by

Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung

Branch Adlershof

Branch Adlershof

Source: BAM


The current and future needs for improving the comparability of biochemical measurement results


Prof. Dr. Gavin O‘Connor, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and Technische Universität Braunschweig


Dr. Rudolf Schneider, BAM


Recent reports have raised concerns over the lack of reproducibility in scientific research. Most biochemical research relies heavily on the interpretation of measurement results from complicated procedures. Often, little thought is given to the comparability of the results over space and time and/or the infrastructures required to realise worldwide comparable measurement results in this field.

The signing of the meter convention in 1885 prompted advances in measurements in engineering and physics. In 1993, the BIPM established the Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance (CCQM). The aim of this committee is to establish a working infrastructure for disseminating traceability in chemical and biological measurements, based on a similar approach as used for physical and artefact standards. This required the National Measurement Institutes (NMI) in each country to develop reference measurement procedures traceable to the SI. These are used to provide a reference point within a country by characterising reference materials and/or anchoring proficiency testing schemes. These reference measurement services are periodically checked with other NMIs to ensure the comparability of biochemical measurement results worldwide.

The most common approach for developing reference measurement procedures in biological matrices incorporates the use of isotopically labelled internal standards and mass spectrometric detection. This stemmed from the ability of IDMS measurements to provide traceable results, whereby the full measurement process can be described by an equation, enabling the provision of a full uncertainty estimation of the measurement. These approaches have been successfully applied for the provision of reference measurements of small biological molecules in serum and other biological matrices. However, their development for complex proteins has proven more challenging. Together, we will review the current approaches, elaborate on the challenges and explore possible solutions to improving the comparability of biological measurement results.

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