Patent applications filed and patents owned by the University of Tennessee Research Corporation

Technology overview

This patent family is one of the three filings introduced in this technology landscape, filed by a team lead by Dr John Sanseverino and Dr Gary S. Sayler at the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  The technology disclosed in this patent family concerns an apparatus that detects the presence of estrogenic compounds.  It contains a transgenic organism (‘a collection of eukaryotic cells’) that emits light upon exposure to an estrogenic compound, and an integrated circuit chip that detects the light.

Details of patent documents

Patent or publication no. Title, Independent Claims and Summary Assignee and licensing information
US 2006/014228

  • Earliest priority – 25 November 1997
  • Filed – 14 June 2005
  • Granted as US 7090992 (see below)
  • Expected expiry – not applicable
Title – Bioluminescent bioreporter integrated circuit devices and methods for detecting estrogen

Claim 1
An apparatus for the detection of an estrogen or a xenoestrogen, comprising:

  • an integrated circuit chip, wherein

said chip comprises an integrated light detection system, and

  • a biosensor comprising a collection of eukaryotic cells harboring a recombinant lux gene from a high temperature microorganism wherein

said gene is operably linked with a heterologous promoter, wherein

a detectable light-emitting lux gene product is expressed in the presence of said estrogen or xenoestrogen, light from said light-emitting lux gene product being detected by said light detection system.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • An apparatus for the detection of an estrogen or a xenoestrogen, comprising an integrated circuit chip and a biosensor (claim 1)

Definitions extracted from the specification are provided in US 7090992 (see below).

Comments:

Since US 20060104228 is a published application and not a granted patent, there are no enforceable rights.

This application has been granted as US 7090992, with all 11 claims granted as was applied for (see below for details).

University of Tennessee Research Foundation

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US 7090992

  • Earliest priority – 25 November 1997
  • Filed – 14 June 2005
  • Granted – 15 August 2006
  • Expected expiry – 25 November 2017
Title – Bioluminescent bioreporter integrated circuit devices and methods for detecting estrogen

Claim 1
An apparatus for the detection of an estrogen or a xenoestrogen, comprising:

  • an integrated circuit chip, wherein

said chip comprises an integrated light detection system, and

  • biosensor comprising a collection of eukaryotic cells harboring a recombinant lux gene from a high temperature microorganism

wherein said gene is operably linked with a heterologous promoter, wherein

a detectable light-emitting lux gene product is expressed in the presence of said estrogen or xenoestrogen, light from said light-emitting lux gene product being detected by said light detection system.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • An apparatus for the detection of an estrogen or a xenoestrogen, comprising an integrated circuit chip and a biosensor (claim 1)

Definitions extracted from the specification are:

  • Biosensor – a small, portable, analytical device based on the combination of recognition biomolecules with an appropriate transducer, and which detects chemical or biological materials selectively and with high sensitivity.
  • Eukaryotic cells – yeast cells are particularly preferred (but not limited to).
  • High temperature microorganism – there is no limitation on the type of microorganism stated in the specification. Dependent claims 2 and 3 recite it to be ‘a bioluminescent microorganism’ and ‘Xenorhabdus luminescens, Pseudomonas phosphoreum, or Photobacterium phosphoreum’, respectively.
  • heterologous promoter – is intended to refer to a promoter that is not normally associated with a DNA segment encoding a crystal protein or peptide in its natural environment.
  • Promoter – may be constitutive, or inducible, and can be used under the appropriate conditions to direct high level expression of the introduced DNA segment.
  • Estrogen or xenoestrogen – the type of estrogen or xenoestrogen that is to be detected is not specified in the description.  Dependent claim 4 recites ‘estrone, estradiol, estriol or an esterified estrogen’.

Comments:

Claims in granted patent US 7090992 is relatively narrow in scope compared to other bioindicator systems, in that protection is limited to

  • an apparatus
  • that detects estrogen or xenoestrogen
  • that consists at least of
    • a eukaryotic biosensor with a lux gene from a high temperature microorganism and
    • an integrated circuit chip that detects luminescence.
Remarks Related patent families of WO 9927351 (Bioluminescent bioreporter integrated circuit) and WO 200223168 (Bioluminescent bioreporter integrated circuit detection methods) contain claims that are generally drawn towards an apparatus that does not necessarily contain a transgenic bioreporter, therefore was not included in the analysis.

Search strategy

Search details
Date of search 14/09/2006
Database searched Patent Lens
Type of search Simple, stemming on
Collections searched AU-B, US-A, US-B, EP-B, WO
Search terms biosensor AND (Sayler in inventor)
Results 27
Comments Of the 27 results identified using these search terms, 4 results were identified as being of particular interest based on their abstracts and a review of their claims.