July 30, 2020
Ceres Nanosciences and its collaborators at George Mason University have developed a Nanotrap® particle method that significantly improves detection of SARS-CoV-2. In a preprint posted on June 25, 2020, the teams describe how Nanotrap particles enable a rapid method for capturing and concentrating heat-inactivated and infectious SARS-CoV-2.
The simple method described in the preprint takes as little as 10 minutes to prepare SARS-CoV-2 RNA for downstream testing and obviates the need for commercial nucleic acid extraction kits. Using contrived samples with heat-inactivated and infectious SARS-CoV-2, the authors demonstrated significant (5- to 25-fold) improvements in real-time RT-PCR detection of the virus from transport medium and saliva samples with both commercial nucleic acid extraction kits and a direct extraction method.
Using 49 diagnostic remnant samples, the authors demonstrated that Nanotrap particles can improve detection of SARS-CoV-2 and eliminate false negatives. The method had 100% concordance with all of the samples that previously tested positive, improved the real-time RT-PCR signal by an average of 3.1 Ct values in the low viral load samples, and identified SARS-CoV-2 in 9 out of the 32 samples that had previously tested negative.
Finally, the authors demonstrated that the method was able to concentrate infectious SARS-CoV2 from contrived samples and SARS-CoV-2 from diagnostic remnant samples in pooled patient sample mimics, an approach which is a promising way forward to address the massive testing scale-ups that are necessary.
“These results build on previous data demonstrating that Nanotrap particles improve detection of influenza, RSV, and other strains of coronavirus, including in multiplex applications,” said Ben Lepene, Ceres Nanoscience Chief Technology Officer and corresponding author on the preprint. “We are very excited about the ongoing adoption of our technology in clinical testing labs around the world.”
About Ceres Nanosciences, Inc.
Ceres Nanosciences is a privately held company, located in Prince William County, Virginia, focused on the commercialization of the Nanotrap® particle technology. The Nanotrap® particle technology can improve 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 (DARPA), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ceres is focused on incorporating this technology into a range of innovative diagnostic products. Learn more, including how Ceres is partnering with leading life science, bio-pharmaceutical, and diagnostic companies at www.ceresnano.com.
Ross M. Dunlap
Ceres Nanosciences, Inc
1.800.615.0418 ext. 202