Nano Science and Technology Institute

IP Profile: Novel Compounds for Disrupting Biofilms

Novel, simple heterocyclic compounds, synthesized to resemble the structure of the natural auto inducer-2, are used as polymer coatings for water pipes, membranes and other surfaces to disrupt quorum sensing between bacterial cells and prevent the formation of biofilms.

Organization: Yissum Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, IL
Primary Industry: Medical, Dental, CleanTechnology (including water)
Inventors: D. Steinberg, I. Polacheck, M. Srebnik
IP Contact: Ziv Shomroni, VP Natural Sciences, Yissum

I.P. Overview courtesy of Z. Shomroni, Yissum, IL

Bacteria communicate (quorum sensing) via secretion of signal molecules (auto inducers). This communication is highly associated with their ability to form biofilms and consequently pathogenicity. We have synthesized novel simple heterocyclic compounds, synthesized to resemble the biological functions of the natural auto inducers. Those agents act as agents or antagonists to the cell cell communication therefore affecting biofilm formation and thereafter the virulence of the bacteria. The agents can be used as simple molecules or in corporate into a coating. Our agents affect also fungi biofilms.

The novelty of the invention is that those agents are acting as alternative mean to antibiotics as they do not affect vitality of microorganisms only reduce virulence. Side effects regularly associated with antibiotics are not indicative using our invention.

Yissum tells NWN that their technology will impact various industries, including:

  • Medical: The prevention and removal of biofilms in human diseases.
  • Water: Prevention and removal of biofilms from pipes, membranes
  • Environmental: Affect biofilms in households, using environmental agents

For more information, visit

the effect of TZD-10 on biofilm of V. harveyi bacteria in different concentrations

Confocal laser scaning microscopy illustrating the the effect of TZD-10 on biofilm of V. harveyi bacteria in different concentrations: (a) 0mM (control), (b) 0.002mM, (c) 0.02mM and (d) 0.2mM. (bacteria are stained in green fluorioncet dye.

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