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Thermal Measurements Committee Seeks Participation in Developing Standards for Biological Calorimetry


ASTM International Committee E37 on Thermal Measurements is seeking participation in a new subcommittee, E37.09 on Biological Calorimetry.
Since its inception, the focus of Committee E37 has been the creation of methods for the calibration and use of thermal analysis instrumentation. One of the first types of thermal analysis instruments that was developed commercially on a large scale was differential scanning calorimetry. Differential scanning calorimetry is used in a very wide range of applications.
In recent years, calorimetry specifically designed for use in the measurement of aqueous biochemical reactions has been developed. These instruments have been used extensively in research, and there are indications that these types of calorimeters may have an increasing role in the manufacturing and certification of different types of biological preparations.
While recommendations have been made on the use and calibration of biological calorimeters, no consensus standards currently exist. Because of significant differences in design and construction, current E37 standards would not be suitable for biological calorimeters.
Donald Archer, chair of the subcommittee and research chemist, National Institute of Standards and Technology, says that the most likely users of standards developed by E37.09 would be laboratories that are testing activity and stability of proteins and other biological macromolecules.
“The standards will establish a common set of calibration and operational standard methods,” says Archer. “We expect that they will be used in the same way as are E37’s standard methods for traditional differential scanning calorimetry. They will be used as standard operating procedures in quality systems that govern research, quality control and performance testing.”

For further technical information, contact Donald Archer, National Institute of Standards and Technology (phone: 301/975-2522; Committee E37 will meet Sept. 18-19, at ASTM International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. For membership or meeting details, contact Thomas O’Toole (phone: 610/832-9739;


Release #7408


May 1, 2006

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