Binghamton University

Novel Therapeutic Agent to Target Microbial Biofilms

Posted by Fabiola from Binghamton UniversityResponsive · Patents for licensing · United States

Summary of the technology

A naturally produced signaling molecule combats chronic and resistant hard-to-treat infections and contaminations by inducing microbial biofilms to disperse.

Binghamton University

Description of the technology


Bacterial biofilms, or complex organized communities of bacterial cells, are responsible for most chronic infections, as well as for major medical contaminations and industrial biofouling. Bacteria in biofilms are resistant to conventional antimicrobial treatments and are notoriously difficult to eradicate, leading to persistent infections or recalcitrant sources of contamination. Biofilm-specific strategies are needed to address these major unmet medical and industrial issues.

Technology Overview

Cis-2-decenoic acid (cis-DA) is a naturally produced bacterial signaling molecule that combats chronic and resistant hard-to-treat infections and contaminations via a biofilm-specific mechanism of action. Binghamton University researchers have found that by inducing microbial biofilms to disperse or disaggregate, cis-DA abrogates their inherent defense mechanisms, making the microorganisms more susceptible to antimicrobial agents. Acting at nanomolar concentrations, cis-DA has been shown to act as a robust adjunctive to enhance the efficacy of various medical antimicrobials and industrial disinfectants against a wide array of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, as well as a number of fungal pathogens.


  • Broad Spectrum: Active against a variety of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, as well as fungal pathogens.
  • Natural: Signaling molecule synthesized by bacteria.
  • Versatile: Improves activity of a wide range of antimicrobials and disinfectants.
  • Effective: Active at nanomolar concentrations.


Applications include, but are not limited to:

  • Human health (oral health, chronic infections, wound care, Cystic Fibrosis, surgical site infections, implanted medical devices).
  • Animal health (oral health, skin health, and wound care).
  • Skincare.
  • Disinfection (medical and industrial).
  • Anti-fouling and anti-corrosion (food processing, water purification and distribution, cooling towers, oil and gas pipelines, paper and pulp installations).

Intellectual property status

Technology Owner

Binghamton University

Technology Transfer Office

Related keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • Virus, Virology / Antibiotics / Bacteriology
  • Microbiology Technology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Genetic Engineering / Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology Market
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Market
  • Medical Health related
  • Therapeutic

About Binghamton University

Technology Transfer Office from United States

The best public university in the Northeast.

A world-class institution, Binghamton University offers students a broad, interdisciplinary education with an international perspective and one of the most vibrant research programs in the nation.

Ranked among the elite public universities in the country, Binghamton challenges students academically, not financially, in its unique, best-of-both-worlds environment.

Our academic culture rivals a first-rate private university — rigorous, collaborative and boldly innovative — while our campus culture exemplifies the best kind of public university experience: richly diverse students, active social life and deep engagement with the community.

Our students, both undergraduate and graduate, work one-on-one with an exceptional faculty and groundbreaking scholars. They take advantage of special academic opportunities like combined degrees, foreign language study groups and an unparalleled international education program.

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