Team:SFLS Shenzhen/Interlab


Reliable and repeatable measurement is a key component to all engineering disciplines. The same holds true for synthetic biology, which has also been called engineering biology. However, the ability to repeat measurements in different labs has been difficult. Interlab studies aims to improve the measurement tools available to both the iGEM community and the synthetic biology community as a whole. In this year’s Interlab, the question is: Can we reduce lab-to-lab variability in fluorescence measurements by normalizing to absolute cell count or colony-forming units (CFUs) instead of OD? [1]

Plate Reader and CFU: Method

In order to compute the cell count in your samples, we used two orthogonal approaches:

  1. Converting between absorbance of cells to absorbance of a known concentration of beads.
  2. Counting colony-forming units (CFUs) from the sample.

By using these two approaches, iGEM HQ will be able to determine how much they agree with each other, and whether using one (or both) can help to reduce lab-to-lab variability in measurements.[2]

After reading the protocol[3] provided by HQ carefully ,we started Interlab on July 11thas soon as the summer vacation began. We followed the protocol .


Our first few tries didn’t go well, for no colonies grew on the plate no matter what we did to find out the reason. However, a last, desperate act did the trick as we carefully repeated the steps, hoping it would not let us down. Though the colonies were few in number and were just enough to meet the expectation, we finally carried out a result. our result!

Extra Credit: Measurement with Flow Cytometry

We also did the optional experiment: the measurement with flow cytometry .For extra credit, teams with access to a flow cytometer and SpheroTech calibration beads can collect and submit flow cytometry data as well. Teams performing this additional measurement will be given special acknowledgement at the iGEM Jamboree and in any resulting scientific publications. [4] Our data has passed the review of the committee.