The D.I. Mendeleev All-Russian Institute for Metrology (VNIIM)
State Scientific Centre of the Russian Federation
State Test and Measurement Instrument Certification Centre

Ingenious russian setup for genetic research tested at VNIIM

A State testing of the first home-made whole-genome DNA sequencing machine Nanofor SPS has been recently completed at VNIIM and recognized successful. Its hard- and software were developed by the Institute of Analytical Instrumentation of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The reagents were prepared by the Syntol Research and Production Company.

The device is based on the PCR Colony method engineered by the RAS 30 years ago. At the present stage the method is realized to be used domestically as a technology for the massive parallel DNA sequencing (MPS).

The main technical feature of this setup that distinguishes it from its foreign analogues is its unique optical detector that provides a better sensitivity. The set of reagents realizing the principle of sequencing by synthesis also implements a number of know-hows which provides a longer length of reading of mapped DNA sequences than its analogues, which is extremely important for a number of applications, especially in the field of personalized medicine.

The Deputy Head of Rosstandart Mr S. Golubev pointed out that the home-made equipment and reagents will make sequencing technologies more accessible and will help bring medical and epidemiological research to a new level. Development of domestic instrumental and reagent base for genetic research requires development of reference materials and reference methods designed to ensure metrological traceability of measurement results.

The testing was carried out in several stages and ended with mapping and assembly of the DNA of a microorganism that is pathogenic for humans - Mycobacterium tuberculosis, provided by the Federal Research and Clinical Center of Physical-Chemical Medicine (FMBA). The test results confirmed the full compliance of the ingenious Russian setup, reagents and the MPS software with the advanced foreign analogues.

The Head of the D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology, Mr A. Pronin, mentioned that the first step towards creating the corresponding metrological infrastructure should be inclusion of nucleotide sequence as a non-system unit in the Regulations on measurement units allowed for the use in the Russian Federation. Serial production of the device and reagents is planned to be launched in 2021 at the RAS’ Experimental Factory of Scientific Engineering located in the town of Chernogolovka.

As a part of implementation of the Strategy for the Development of Ensuring the Uniformity of Measurements in the Russian Federation until 2025, a group of experts from scientific organizations of Rosstandart (VNIIM, VNIIFTRI, VNIIOFI, VNIIMS) worked out recommendations on development, certification, and application of standard and primary reference measuring procedures. The latter were approved by VNIM and registered as a normative and methodical document of the State System Ensuring the Uniformity of Measurements, MI 3627-2020.

This document will favor the introduction into metrological practice of a new instrument to ensuring the uniformity of measurements, intended for assessing the accuracy of measurement results obtained by other measuring procedures (methods) and to determine characteristics of reference materials.

The priority areas for the applications of reference procedures are measurements performed in clinical diagnostical tests, conformity assessment of food and animal feed in accordance with safety requirements, and for environmental protection.

As explained by the Head of VNIIM, Mr A. Pronin, the new document summarizes all the experience accumulated over the last three years in the development of standard and primary reference measurement procedures, and takes into account the provisions of international documents related to metrological traceability of measurement results.

International conference on flowmetry organized by VNIIM

Topical issues of metrological support of measurements in the fuel and energy complex were discussed at the Tatarstan Oil and Gas Chemical Forum. The traditional International Conference on urgent issues of metrological support of measurement of flow and quantity of liquids and gases, which took place on September 2-4 in the city of Kazan, gathered more than one hundred industry companies, representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, Ministry of Energy of Russia, RosAccreditation, scientific organizations of Rosstandart, Centers of Standardization and Metrology. The conference was organized by VNIIM. In his online greeting, the Deputy Director of the Department of State Policy in the field of technical regulation and ensuring the uniformity of measurements of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, Mr D. Kuznetsov, called the conference a significant event that takes a central place among other industry events. The Head of Department, Mr M. Letunovsky, told about the work of the Ministry to improve the regulatory system to ensure the uniformity of measurements. The Deputy Director of the Department of Oil and Gas Production and Transportation of the Ministry of Energy Mr A. Savinov presented to specialists the Action Plan for the implementation of the Technical Regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union "On the safety of natural gas fuel for transportation and use", and spoke about joint activities with Rosstandart to update and create new standards in the field of gas resources accounting. Mrs Yu. Danilina, Deputy Head of the RosAccreditation Department for the Volga Federal District, reported on the procedure for accreditation taking into account the spreading of the coronavirus infection. The Head of VNIIM, Mr A. Pronin, informed about the development of the stock of measurement standards in the framework of the implementation of the State Strategy for Ensuring Uniformity of Measurements until 2025 and the challenges faced by VNIIM and its branches. The merger of some Russian metrology institutes will give a noticeable synergetic effect both in general and in individual areas. Stages of digital transformation of the system for ensuring the uniformity of measurements and the first results of implementation of the modernized system FGIS "Arshin" were presented to the conference participants by Mr A. Yashin, Deputy Director of VNIIM of the Metrology Service of Rosstandart. Mr Bodo Mikan, Head of the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB), joined the conference online. After the plenary session that took place on the 4th of September, there was an open meeting of the Interstate Technical Committee MGK 553 and Technical Committee of TC 024, where the specialists were acquainted with the stock of measurement standards maintained at VNIIR (branch of VNIIM). According to the conference participants, the event was held at a high scientific and organizational level and was actually the first one in the metrological community after the beginning of lifting of coronavirus restrictions in the Russian Federation.