Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Https

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Glycomics

Overview

The field of glycomics defines the structures and functions of glycans, or sugars, in biological systems. Glycans perform many functions in cells and cell systems, from helping cells recognize invaders, to guiding cell growth, to enabling the folding of protein structures that affect health.

In support of the biomanufacturing and protein therapeutics communities, NIST research underpins the characterization of glycans in three focus areas: 1) development of glycan reference materials, 2) development of mass spectral glycan reference data libraries, and 3) administration of glycan measurement interlaboratory comparison studies.

Key Accomplishments

Glycan reference standards

A glycan-based Standard Reference Material (SRM 3655) is being developed to support the biomanufacturing and protein therapeutics communities.  The SRM will consist of a set of 13 individually-bottled, pure glycoforms including those most commonly observed as N-linked glycans on therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.  This quantitative glycan material will enable accurate, SI-traceable quantification of antibody glycosylation, and can be used to assess quantity, identity, or stability between labs, between production lots, or over time.

Mass spectral glycan reference data

The NIST Mass Spectral Reference Libraries are continuously increasing the number of glycan and oligosaccharide reference spectra included. Recent additions include glycan from NISTmAb, NIST Human Milk SRM 1953 and oligosaccharides from a variety of mammals, including samples shared with NIST from the National Zoo in Washington, DC.

NIST Mass Spectrometry Data Center products relevant to glycomics include:

Interlaboratory measurement comparison studies

NIST coordinated an interlaboratory study for laboratories that measure glycosylation in monoclonal antibodies. A published report describes the design of and results for the NIST Interlaboratory Study on the Glycosylation of NISTmAb, a Monoclonal Antibody Reference Material from 103 reports submitted by 76 laboratories.

The Research

Projects & Programs

Glycan Standard Reference Materials

A glycan-based Standard Reference Material (SRM 3655) is being developed at NIST to support the biomanufacturing and protein therapeutics communities. The SRM

Additional Resources Links

News

woman stands at mass spectrometer machine

NIST Expands Database That Helps Identify Unknown Compounds in Milk

Woman uses gas analysis mass spectrometer at NBS for chemical analysis of gas or vapor mixtures

NIST Adds New 'Fingerprints' to Chemical Identification Database

A woman with goggles prepares a sample near a large instrument.

How Milk Does an Animal Body Good