Biotechnological Hub of the NIB (BTH-NIB)

The purpose of the investment project BTH-NIB is the assurance of the appropriate infrastructural conditions for the use of research and developmental opportunities in the fields of operation of the NIB.

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Met4Lab - Basis for establishment of a system for identification and exchange of metrological requirements in the field of biochemical analysis

Project coordinator: Mojca Milavec, PhD

Code: V2-2247

Duration: 1.10.2022 – 30.9.2024

Metrology in the field of chemistry and biology is under intensive development, however only partially supports certain areas such as medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, food safety, and environmental monitoring. For better implementation of metrology, it is necessary to look for ways to quickly and successfully transfer metrological support to end users. One of such approaches is a better liaison between accredited laboratories and other laboratories performing analysis for end users and the holder of the national standard in a particular field.

To provide the basis for identification of metrological needs in the fields of chemistry, biology, and medicine, and to obtain data on comparability of laboratory results, workshops, a survey and interlaboratory comparison of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis will be organised within the project. PCR is one of the most commonly used methods for the analysis of nucleic acids and is based on the amplification of a targeted nucleic acid sequence. With PCR and its advanced derivatives, such as real-time PCR and digital PCR, it is possible to perform detection, identification and quantification of selected nucleic acid target sequences originating from different organisms and from different types of samples. There are several laboratories in Slovenia, each of which performs analysis using PCR in its own area (medicine, microorganisms of animals or food, plant health, genetically modified organisms). Some of these laboratories operate in areas where certified reference materials and relevant proficiency tests are available (e.g., genetically modified organisms), in other areas appropriate proficiency testing and various control materials are available but certified reference materials are not (e.g., medicine), and in the area of plant health there are no appropriate control materials and proficiency testing providers are not properly accredited. Laboratories performing PCR analysis therefore have different needs to support their measurements, but these are often not recognized as metrological needs. In Slovenia there is also a laboratory that is the holder of the national standard in the field of quantity of substances / bioanalysis of nucleic acids, especially in the field of genetically modified organisms and microorganisms in biological and other materials. This laboratory can help ensure metrological traceability in nucleic acid analysis and thus support other laboratories. Among others, the laboratory has participated in an interlaboratory study for the quantification of SARS-CoV-2 at the highest metrological level, which sets basis for metrological traceability.

The specific objectives of the project are:
•    to define starting points for the establishment of a centralized system for the identification and exchange of metrological requirements in chemistry, biology and medicine in the case of biochemical analysis using PCR, insuring a quicker more efficient response in the event of a crisis situations or new measurement requirements;
•    to determine metrological needs in the field of chemistry, biology and medicine in the case of biochemical analysis using a PCR method;
•    to define the approach to ensure metrological traceability in the determination of SARS-CoV-2 using a PCR method.

The project is financially supported by:
•    Slovenian Research Agency
•   Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Metrology Institute of the Republic of Slovenia

•    Institute of Microbiology and Parasitology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Ljubljana
•    Chair of Biotechnology, Microbiology and Food Safety, Department of Food Science and Technology,  Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
•    Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana
•    Center for Medical Microbiology, National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food
•    Centre for Microbiological Analysis, National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food