Anti-quorum Sensing Compounds for the Disruption of Biofilms in Marine Environments

Steinberg Doron, HUJI, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Institute of Dental Sciences
(Late) Srebnik Morris, HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC
Polacheck Itzhack

Simple heterocycles to inhibit fungi and bacterial biofilm formation


Cleantech, Environment, Water Technologies, Biofouling, Biofilm, Food Packaging

Development Stage

Our technology has been proven to reduce up to 60% biofilm after one coating application on pipes' inner surfaces, in the Israeli main recycling water center (SAFDAN)

Patent Status

Patent applications filed in the US (2011-0281921-A1)and Europe (2365969)

Market Size

The total market for anti fouling solutions is estimated in billions of dollars annually


  • Simple heterocyclic compounds disrupt cell–cell communication (quorum sensing) interfering with the formation of biofilms
  • First compounds to exhibit cross kingdom inhibition and reversal of biofilms
  • Environmentally friendly method to control the formation of biofilms on artificial surfaces such as water pipes or air-conditioning ducts in industry and agriculture
  • Non-leaching polymer coatings

Our Innovation

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


Key Features

  • No antibacterial or antifungal effect, avoids development of resistant strains
  • Environmentally safe – non-leaching coating
  • Effective against both fungal and bacterial biofilms
  • Inhibit and reverse biofilm formation

Development Milestones

  • Additional compounds to be synthesized
  • Additional field trials in agricultural, municipal and industrial water pipes, homes and hospitals

The Opportunity

  • Biofilm-related problems cost U.S. industry billions of dollars annually by corroding pipes, reducing heat transfer or hydraulic pressure in industrial cooling systems, plugging water injection jets, and clogging water filters.
  • Applications include industrial water treatment, prevention of biofilm formation on filtration membranes, paints and coatings, irrigation pipelines, paper-making machines, food packaging
  • Cost of desalination and water recycling processes reduced by lowering energy consumption

Contact for more information:

Matt Zarek