A Natural Molecule for Inducing Dispersion of Microbial Biofilms

Bacterial biofilms have been implicated in more than 80 percent of chronic inflammatory and infectious diseases, including ear infections, native valve endocarditis, urinary tract infections, burn and non-healing wounds and infections of indwelling medical devices. Biofilms are also the principal cause of biofouling, a persistent problem in marine and industrial environments. Biofouling affects food processing, water purification and distribution, the pharmaceutical and petroleum industries, as well as essentially all other industries having materials exposed to water. Biofilm cells differ from their planktonic counterparts in the genes and proteins they express, resulting in distinct phenotypes that include altered resistance to biocides, antibiotics and the human immune system.


cis-2-decenoic acid (CDA) is a naturally produced bacterial signaling molecule that combats chronic and resistant hard-to-treat infections by inducing microbial biofilms to disperse. CDA can disrupt or modulate communities of infecting or contaminating pathogens. CDA also makes microorganisms more susceptible to antimicrobial agents and, thus, can be used as an adjuvant to enhance the function of available antimicrobials.


Key Elements:

  • Causes dispersion of biofilms and prevents formation of biofilms
  • Active against a variety of microorganisms, including gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria as well as fungi
  • Increases the efficacy of antibiotics and microbiocides
  • Active at low concentrations (nanomolar)



  • Treat infections
  • Wound healing
  • Oral hygiene
  • Skin care
  • Medical devices
  • Food processing
  • Surface coatings
  • Anti-corrosion



  • Braod spectrum: active against gram+ and gram- bacteria and fungi.
  • Versatile: nanomolar concentrations improve activity of various antimicrobials.
  • Natural: signaling molecule synthesized by bacteria.


Intellectual Property:


U.S. 8,513,305; JP5548121B2; CN101801521B; CA2684150; GB2463181B




David G. Davies

David Davies, an associate professor of biology at Binghamton University, has isolated a compound that will cause biofilm colonies to disperse, thus leaving individual bacteria up to 1,000 times more susceptible to disinfectants, antibiotics and immune functions. The discovery could prove useful in health care, manufacturing, shipping and pharmaceutics.




Binghamton University RB265

Patent Information: