NexGen Secures SBIR, NSF Funding To Accelerate Development of Rapid Virus Diagnostics

Achievement date: 

Startup companyNexGen Arrays developed rapid virus detection technologies at the NSF-funded Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications ERC (LESA), headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic University, and has been awarded Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from NSF for $150,000, and from the National Institutes of Health for $225,000. The funds will help hire several part-time and full-time employees.


NexGen Arrays’ diagnostic technology detects viruses such as Ebola up to three days sooner than comparable tests. This promises to save lives and help contain dangerous epidemics. The technology makes viruses visible through a NexGen innovative smart light-based system. The SBIR grants will accelerate NexGen’s commercialization and path to private investment.



NexGen Arrays has commercialized technology developed at the LESA ERC by undergraduate, post-doc and other researchers, with funding from an NSF Accelerated Innovative Research (NSF-AIR) grant. Those participants formed the company in April 2013 and have led it ever since.


NexGen uses nanoparticle-imaging technology to provide ultrasensitive biomolecule detection.  The technology’s detection probe—i.e., antibody— is tagged with a gold nanoparticle and counts single molecule nanosized pathogens (i.e., viruses) that are bound to the sensor surface. NexGen is applying the technology for early diagnosis of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer, and is working to make its technology available to clinicians and primary care centers.