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SARS-CoV-2 Research Grade Test Material


A photo of packaging for SARS-Cov-2 Research Grade Test Material
SARS-Cov-2 Research Grade Test Material was a reference material of synthetic fragments of the SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA, which is the target of diagnostic tests for COVID-19. This material was intended to aid in evaluation of existing RT-qPCR assays and the development of new RT-qPCR assays, to be used as a calibrant in qPCR (dilutions), and to benchmark/compare other SARS-CoV-2 controls/materials. 
Credit: Megan Cleveland

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released a synthetic RNA material for SARS-CoV-2 in June 2020. The goal was to rapidly produce a material to support molecular diagnostic testing applications. This material, referred to as Research Grade Test Material 10169, was shipped free of charge to laboratories across the globe to provide a non-hazardous material for assay development and assay calibration. The material consisted of two unique regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome approximately 4 kb nucleotides in length. The concentration of each synthetic fragment was measured using RT-dPCR methods and confirmed to be compatible with RT-qPCR methods.  

The material was freely distributed to laboratories all around the globe. Over 30-month period of the project, NIST received 227 requests from laboratories in 33 different countries. 

As of May 2023, this pilot project has ended, and we are no longer taking requests for the material. Details describing the production and characterization of RGTM 10169 are detailed in a peer-reviewed publication in the journal Biologicals: Rapid production and free distribution of a synthetic RNA material to support SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostic testing.  

We have a limited number of units of RGTM 10169 left over.  If there is a specific collaboration you would like to propose, please megan.cleveland [at] (contact us).

Created June 3, 2020, Updated May 22, 2023