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Biosystems and Biomaterials Division

BBD's mission is to foster innovation and build confidence in quantitative biology and biomaterial measurements across government and industry in support of the bio-economy.

Welcome to the Biosystems and Biomaterials Division

BBD is focused on developing methods that will assure reliability and confidence in the measurements that underpin research and applications in genomic measurements, biomaterials, protein therapeutics and cell therapies, cancer diagnostics, nanoparticle safety, and microbial identification and quantifi­cation. We carry out this work through fundamental research in measurement science and the development of reference materials, reference data, and protocols.  Click here for an overview video of the Biosystems and Biomaterials Division.



Regenerative Medicine and Advanced Therapies
Advanced therapies are demonstrating promising clinical efficacy and could change the paradigm for treating a wide range of diseases and injuries. Clinical translation of this broad class of new therapeutics requires better defined and characterized products and more robust, reliable, and cost-effective manufacturing processes.


Microbiome Community Measurements
Microbial communities (microbiomes) abound everywhere, forming resilient ecological networks adapted to their environments. Research has connected the behavior of these cooperative communities to both beneficial and problematic outcomes in diverse biological systems including: human health, agricultural productivity, water and food safety, waste remediation, and infrastructure corrosion.

Breast Cancer Cells

Precision Medicine
The conventional approach to medicine is rapidly changing to a data-driven strategy in which therapies are individually targeted to a patient based on genome, physiology, environment, or lifestyle. This approach is revolutionizing health care— especially in the treatment of cancer—but its success depends on using data from bioanalytical measurements with potential wide-ranging biases and uncertainties.    

Genetic Circuit

Synthetic Biology
Rapid advances in the ability to genetically modify biological organisms have advanced a new engineering discipline, commonly referred to as synthetic biology. This approach seeks to harness the power of living systems for a variety of manufacturing applications, such as advanced therapeutics, sustainable fuels, chemical feedstocks, and advanced materials.  

News and Updates

A Map App to Track Stem Cells

Researchers who work with stem cells have ambitious goals. Some want to cure cancer or treat heart disease. Others want


NIST Genome Editing Workshop

Fri, May 3 2019
Targeted genome editing technologies are being leveraged across many sectors including in the development of novel

Industry Impacts

Benchmarks for Biologic Drugs

Protein-based biologic drugs, which are increasingly used to treat cancers, autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases, are hard to produce, store and deliver


Anne Plant Elected AAAS Fellow

Each year, the AAAS Council elects members whose "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or...

Press Coverage

Cool Jobs: Poop investigators

Science News for Students
The work of NIST's Complex Microbial Systems group, which is working to make a reference material to aid in analyzing microbiome DNA, is reviewed.