MSACL 2017 EU Abstract

Metrology for Clinical: From Small to Large

Christopher Hopley (Presenter)

Bio: I have been researching metrology (high accuracy measurement) at LGC in the Designated National Measurement Institute for Chemical and Bio-Analysis for over 16 years. Working in a wide range of application areas, including food, environmental, clinical and security. The work involves the use and development of chromatography and mass spectrometry platforms, to achieve ever greater performance, to allow the measurement of analytes traceable to the SI, for the development of reference methods and reference materials.

Authorship: Milena Quaglia and Chris Hopley

Short Abstract

Metrology research is critical to characterise higher order reference materials that are traceable to the SI. LGC is developing reference methods in the small molecule and large molecule areas to enable the production of higher order materials. This is not without its issues and challenges, some unique to the clinical area and some not. Here we present an outline of the approach taken at LGC and discuss the process of higher order material certification.

Long Abstract


Metrology is the scientific study of measurement, and metrology research in the clinical area aims to improve both the accuracy and precision of laboratory measurement, through the supply of higher order reference materials. LGC is working on a number of projects, both on protein/peptide and small molecules, to certify higher order reference materials traceable to the SI.


Using chromatography linked to mass spectrometry, stable isotope internal standards, and the process of double exact matching isotope dilution mass spectrometry coupled with gravimetric sample preparation allows the measurement of target analytes traceable to the SI, if other criteria have been met, such as full equilibration between the analyte and internal standard, and use of certified reference material standards. Also critical to the process is a full characterisation of the uncertainty budget for the measurement


Here we review the use of traceable methods in the clinical area, and discuss the challenges of making the measurements, highlighting the steps required and the complexity of the process.

Conclusions & Discussion

Higher order reference materials are in ever greater demand, but the production is time consuming, necessitated by the accuracy, precision and tracability required. This presentation will discuss the process of certifying the materials undertaken at LGC within the organic mass spectrometry group.

References & Acknowledgements:

Financial Disclosure

Board MemberyesBritish Mass Spectrometry Society Committee

IP Royalty: no

Planning to mention or discuss specific products or technology of the company(ies) listed above: