The goal of the NIST Living Measurement Systems Foundry is to enable the engineering of cells for reliable and safe use in dynamic and unpredictable environments for applications such as living therapeutics, environmental sensing, and structured materials fabrication. The heart of the Living Measurement Systems Foundry is an automated facility for high throughput testing and measurement of engineered microbes.
To enable the production of high-throughput, high-quality data that meets the rapidly evolving needs of current and future stakeholders, NIST has established an automation facility for the growth, manipulation, sample preparation, and measurement of engineered microbes. The core of the facility includes a fully integrated, high-throughput system to automate common tasks in the synthetic biology workflow, such as liquid handling, incubation, multi-well plate measurements, electro-transformation, centrifugation, and colony picking. Additional measurement capabilities include high-throughput flow cytometry, quantitative fluorescence microscopy, and nucleic acid analysis and sequencing.
This measurement facility will allow NIST to flexibly and rapidly produce measurement assurance products matched to the growing use of automation in the bio-economy, and to engage in partnerships with other organizations seeking to develop measurement approaches to ensure the safe and reliable use of microorganisms engineered to respond to dynamic and unpredictable environments. It also will be an enabling platform capability for the NIST Genetic Sensor Foundry project, which aims to combine high-throughput measurements and active learning algorithms to make the engineering of living measurement systems predicable, scalable, and routine.
For more information or to discuss partnerships for collaborative use of the facility, please contact david.ross [at] nist.gov (David Ross).