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Press Release - January 31, 2020

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 Prince William County, Virginia, focused on incorporating its novel Nanotrap® particle technology into a range of diagnostic and research products and workflows. The Nanotrap® particle technology can improve diagnostic testing by capturing, concentrating, and preserving low abundance analytes from biological samples. The Nanotrap® particle technology was developed with support from the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Learn more, including how Ceres is partnering with leading life science, bio-pharmaceutical, and diagnostic companies at


Press Contact:

Ross M. Dunlap

Ceres Nanosciences, Inc

1.800.615.0418 ext. 202

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