Biosignal produces synthetic furanones effective on inanimate surfaces such as pipes, ship hulls, membranes and medical devices; and animate surfaces such as lungs, skin and teeth.Furanones are based on a discovery that the eastern Australian seaweed, Delisea pulchra, produces natural furanones that disable bacteria’s ability to colonize. The fundamental problem with existing anti-bacterials, including antibiotics, is their tendency to generate bacterial resistance. Bacteria rapidly produce resistant strains when faced with strong selective pressure by killing agents or growth-inhibitory agents. Furanones lull bacteria to inaction and appear to avoid the problem of bacterial resistance.BioSignal Ltd. is in the process of commercializing their products for use in a variety of applications, including medical treatment and devices, pipelines, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, cleaning products, and water treatment.
This strategy is not based on killing the bacteria but keeping the bacteria from forming biofilm by interfering with bacterial communication. Thus, bacteria cannot build up a resistance to furanones. Furanones are biodegrable and do not cause pollution or toxicity.
The red seaweed, Delisea pulchra protects itself from bacterial infection by exuding compounds that inhibit the formation of bacterial biofilm. Delisea pulchra effectively avoids a broad spectrum of bacterial infections without breeding any bacterial resistance to its defensive chemistry. Molecules known as furanones produced by the seaweed bind readily to the specific protein-covered bacterial receptor sites that receive the bacterial signaling molecules (N-acyl homoserine lactone) that normally induce surface colonization. This method of blocking bacterial communication effectively prevents bacteria from forming groups and becoming virulent, but does not physically kill the bacteria. Therefore, the bacteria cannot become resistant. The bacteria simply are unable to communicate with other bacterial cells. Thus no bacterial film can form on the surface of the seaweed.
Over 80% of bacterial infections in humans are estimated to involve the formation of bacterial colonies, or biofilms, while numerous other potential applications for this completely novel anti-bacterial technology exist. Potential uses include avoiding dental plaque, scale inside pipes, biofilms on ship hulls, and biofilm on membranes or medical devices.Edit Summary