Sensitive Detection Of Chemical Species Using A Bacterial Display Sandwich Assay

Tech ID: 27187 / UC Case 2017-070-0

Patent Status

Patent Pending

Brief Description

Endocrine disrupting compounds are found in increasing amounts in our environment, originating from pesticides, plasticizers, and pharmaceuticals, among other sources. These compounds have been implicated in diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. The list of chemicals that disrupt normal hormone function is growing at an alarming rate, making it crucially important to find sources of contamination and identify new compounds that display this ability. However, there is currently no broad-spectrum, rapid test for these compounds, as they are difficult to monitor because of their high potency and chemical dissimilarity.


To address this, UC Berkeley researchers have developed a new detection system and method for the sensitive detection of trace compounds using electrochemical methods.  This platform is both fast and portable, and it requires no specialized skills to perform. This system enables both the detection of many detrimental compounds and signal amplification from impedance measurements due to the binding of bacteria to a modified electrode. The researchers were able to test the system finding sub-ppb levels of estradiol and ppm levels of bisphenol A in complex solutions. This approach should be broadly applicable to the detection of chemically diverse classes of compounds that bind to a single receptor.


Suggested uses

  • Point-of-care diagnostics
  • Environmental sensors and analysis



  • Broad spectrum assay
  • Low-cost, rapid assay, appropriate for field use
  • No specialized equipment and no specialized skills needed to perform



Quantifying Hormone Disruptors with an Engineered Bacterial Biosensor 

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  • Francis, Matthew B.

Other Information


Diagnostic, assay, sandwich assay, EDC, endocrine

Categorized As