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Project Brief: Institute for Systems Biology

NIST Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants


Develop a platform for the measurement of multiple proteins from single-cell samples to sensitively and accurately detect the signatures of disease in blood and tissue.

RECIPIENT: Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA

  • Project duration: 3 Years
  • Total NIST Funding: $1,485,605
The ability to identify and accurately measure biomarker signatures of disease in blood and tissue will transform health care and medical research by providing critical data for clinical decisions, including disease diagnosis and staging, and for monitoring responses to therapy. To make this transformation a reality, new technologies must be developed to analyze the complex biomolecular networks underlying cellular processes. Traditional biological measurements typically capture the averaged state of a heterogeneous cellular population from tissue, obscuring the underlying details occurring in individual cells. The development of measurement technologies for the highly multiplexed molecular analysis of single human cells is clearly needed to drive progress in defining new molecular standards and metrics for quantifying cellular states and disentangling the quantitative effects of cell population heterogeneity. This project will develop a scalable, multiplexed, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) platform that will permit the simultaneous measurement of multiple proteins from single cell samples. The project will address the steps required to automate the assembly of bead-based protein sensor arrays for multiplexed ELISA protein measurements on cell lysates and single cell samples. The development of this measurement capability will be critical for defining quantitative biomolecular standards necessary to define both normal and diseased cells.

Public contact (for project information):

Todd Langton, 206-732-1333
tlangton [at] (tlangton[at]systemsbiology[dot]org)

NIST Program Office Contact:

Jason Boehm, 301-975-8678Jason.boehm [at] (

Created January 20, 2010, Updated September 9, 2021