Ceres Nanosciences Receives $225,000 NIH SBIR Phase I Grant to Improve Serum Quality for Cell and Tissue Engineering

MANASSAS, Va. — January 31, 2020 — Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. (Ceres) today announced it has been awarded a $225,000 Phase I SBIR grant from the NIH to apply the Nanotrap® technology for improved quality testing and for the decontamination of animal serum used in cell and tissue culture applications.  

According to a 2019 Genetic and Engineering News report, the cell and tissue engineering market generated an estimated $9 billion in product sales in 2017(1).  Because animal serum is a source of many of the required nutrients and growth factors for cell and tissue manufacturing, it is a key supplement added to most cell and tissue culture manufacturing processes. 

“Unfortunately, the serum that is used for cell and tissue culture can harbor any number of contaminants, such as viruses, bacteria, and endotoxins, which must be removed before it can be used,” said Ben Lepene, Chief Technology Officer of Ceres Nanosciences. “When we realized that the current procedures for sterilizing serum are time-intensive, costly, and often do not effectively remove all the contaminants, we decided to apply our powerful Nanotrap® particle technology to develop a simpler, cheaper, and better approach.”

The funding provided by this grant will support the growth of the Nanotrap® particle product line, which already includes applications for the capture and concentration of viruses, proteins, and extracellular vesicles, with additional applications underway for the capture and concentration of drugs-of-abuse, bacteria, and cell-free DNA.

“We’re very excited to have this support from the NIH to build on our successful work with the Nanotrap® technology to develop a high-throughput and cost-effective workflow for serum processing,” said Robbie Barbero, Chief Business Officer of Ceres Nanosciences.

# # #About Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. Ceres Nanosciences is a privately held company, located in northern Virginia, focused on the commercialization of the Nanotrap® particle technology. The Nanotrap® particle technology improves diagnostic testing by capturing, concentrating, and preserving low abundance analytes from biological samples. The Nanotrap® particle technology was invented at George Mason University and developed under funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the NIH, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ceres is focused on incorporating this technology into a range of innovative research and diagnostic products. Learn more, including about how Ceres is partnering with leading life science, bio-pharmaceutical, and diagnostic companies at

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43GM135943. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.