Design Considerations for Proteomic Reference Materials
David M. Bunk
In order to improve the repeatability, comparability, and accuracy of proteomic measurements, there has been considerable international effort to develop appropriate reference materials. While the majority of reference materials are developed to support measurement quality of routine assays, the development of reference materials for a diverse and changing research field such as proteomics represents unique challenges. The diversity and changing nature of proteomics require consideration of the metrology underpinning proteomics in order to define common measurement components and common features of typical proteomic samples. Reference materials can then be designed around common aspects in order to achieve broadest applicability. Reference materials are needed to support both qualitative and quantitative proteomic measurements, involving different design considerations. The statistical framework to describe the confidence in qualitative measurement, such as protein identification, needs to be established. Common sources of measurement bias also need to be considered in proteomic reference material design.