Better biological measurements: Removing barriers to traceable measurements in biology
Accurate counting of biologically relevant molecules (nucleic acids and proteins) and entities (cells) underpins many sectors including the food, healthcare, and biotechnology sectors. For example, viral load monitoring in patients, circulating tumour cells in cancer or presence of GMOs, lend themselves to description in terms of number of discrete entities such as DNA copies or number of cells. There is, however, a lack of higher order reference methods and materials to facilitate traceability and measurement comparability which impacts upon accreditation and regulatory compliance. This project improved the state of the art in two key areas for providing higher order SI-traceability in biological measurement: (1) the application of purified calibration materials and (2) the use of enumeration (counting) technologies. The project developed methods and protocols for metrologically sound characterisation of pure biological materials to be used as calibration materials, and developed new counting methods.