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The overall aim of the Chemical & Biological Metrology programme is to improve the accuracy and reliability of chemical and bioanalytical measurements that are important to the UK’s industrial competitiveness and quality of life. The programme achieves this aim through the application of leading-edge science and the development of improved measurement technology to underpin some of the most challenging and important measurements made in the UK.
The programme, funded by the National Measurement Office, underpins the development of the National Measurement System for chemical and biomeasurements, providing the technical and organisational infrastructure that helps ensure that measurements made in the UK are valid and comparable with those made in other countries.
The Programme encompasses much of the work formerly funded under the Valid Analytical Measurement (VAM) and Measurements for Biotechnology (MfB) programmes and is delivered chiefly by LGC and NPL. International comparisons with other National Measurement Institutes assures the equivalence of reference values assigned by LGC and NPL. A proactive approach to knowledge transfer ensures the dissemination and uptake of 'know-how' within the UK.
The sections below give a brief introduction to the technical areas currently covered by Chemical and Biological Metrology Programme projects. Projects are grouped under the following themes:
The Bioanalysis theme aims to provide a sound international basis for accurate and reliable measurements, which underpin the development and exploitation of biotechnology, principally through the healthcare industry. The drive is to develop generic reference methods and measurement standards and improve measurement comparability at interfaces key to the exploitation of bioanalysis.
Gas Analysis and Environmental technologies
The projects in this theme underpin the requirements of UK industry and regulators for traceable measurements of ambient, emission level, forensic, occupational health and indoor air gases across a wide range of industrial sectors. These include power generation, chemicals/petrochemicals, oil and other fuels, aerospace, vehicles, electronics, water, waste incineration and landfill, public health, analytical instrumentation (including sensors), metal and non-metal processing, and pharmaceuticals.
Inorganic and Speciation Analysis
This theme focuses on the development of sound methodologies for achieving accurate and reliable results in research and industry for elemental speciation, trace element and isotope ratio measurement which underpin the key application areas of food, clinical and environmental analysis.
The portfolio of activities for this theme is focused mainly on mass spectrometry, the dominant technique for the high accuracy determination of trace organics, and underpinning metrology activities (including purity determination) that support the UK’s chemical measurement system.
Particle and Trace Chemical Analysis
This theme focuses on the measurement issues relating to airborne particles, and includes the related areas of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), pH and ionic content.
The projects in this theme are designed to sustain and develop the capability needed to produce high quality Certified Reference Materials (CRMs).
Surface and Nano Analysis
Surface chemical analytical techniques are key to understanding and characterising surfaces from the microscale to the nanoscale. The projects in this theme aim to support innovation and competitiveness through the development of reliable leading edge measurement for industry sectors, including health and personal care, packaging, pharmaceuticals, chemical additives, advanced materials, aerospace and defence, novel displays and electronics.
The current area of focus on nanoparticles relates to their application in nanomedicine through the measurement of structure, activity and biomolecule interaction to support toxicological studies.
The dissemination of the knowledge developed and other outputs of the programme is of major importance to maximise the value added to the UK economy and society. The majority of knowledge transfer is tightly bound up in the delivery of the outputs of specific technical projects, where particular audiences can be targeted. Typical activities in these projects might include publications, presentations and participation in specific national or international standardisation activities.
The projects in this theme support the dissemination of the outputs of the programme via the development and maintenance of the Chemical and Biological Metrology website and provision of a helpdesk service. In addition, a range of resources are being developed to support the implementation of the principles of valid analytical measurement in laboratories.
Last modified on
30 September 2011.