Patent applications filed by Eawag Eidg.Anstalt Fur Wasserversorgung

Technology overview

Dr Jan Roelof van der Meer (at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG) at the time of filing) developed transgenic E. coli that detects arsenic pollutants in water samples by introducing into E. coli DH5-alpha a plasmid containing (in 5′ to 3′ order) the arsR promoter (containing first ArsR binding site), arsR, second ArsR binding site, and luxAB.  Introduction of the second ArsR binding site after arsR reduces background expression of luciferase, thereby enhancing the senstitivity of arsenate/arsenite detection by 200 fold. Elimination of background luminescense also enabled development of a simple colorimetric test for arsenate/arsenite detection.  The related non-patent publication of this technology is Stocker J, Balluch D, Gsell M, Harms H, Feliciano J, Daunert S, Malik KA, van der Meer JR. (2003).  Development of a set of simple bacterial biosensors for quantitative and rapid measurements of arsenite and arsenate in potable water.  Environ Sci Technol. 37(20):4743-50.

Details of patent documents

Patent or Publication no. Title, Independent Claims and Summary Assignee and licensing information
EP 1367134

  • Earliest priority – 31 May 2002
  • Filed – 31 May 2002
  • Application deemed to be withdrawn – 16 Mar 2005
  • Expected expiry – not applicable
Title – Method of detecting arsenic ions with indicator bacteria

Claim 1
A biologically based test system for the detection of inorganic and organic pollutants in water samples comprising

  • a genetically modified bacterium producing a marker protein upon induction of a regulatory protein, wherein
    • the activity of said regulatory protein is induced by the presence of said pollutant, characterized in that said genetically modified bacterium comprises at least one additional DNA binding site for the regulatory protein.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • a biologically based test system for the detection of inorganic and organic pollutants in water samples (claim 1)

Definitions extracted from the specification are provided in US 2005/255444.

Comments:

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

Eawag Eidg.Anstalt Fur Wasserversorgung (AU 2003/240673, EP 1367134, WO 2003/102223)

Uberlandstrasse 133, CH-8600 Dubendorf
Switzerland

Ph +41 (0)44 823 55 11
Fax +41 (0)44 823 50 28

UFZ-Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig-Halle GmbH (EP 1509616, US 2005/255444)

Permoserstrasse 15
04318 Leipzig
Germany

Technology transfer patents and license contacts:

Dr. Matthias Remmler
E-mail: matthias.remmler@ufz.de

Ph +49 (0)341 235 2114
Fax +49 (0)341 235 2745

Michaela Pampel
E-mail: michaela.pampel@ufz.de

Ph +49 (0)341 235-2337
Fax +49 (0)341 235-2575

US 2005/255444

  • Earliest priority – 31 May 2002
  • Filed – 9 Jun 2005
  • Application pending
  • Expected expiry – not applicable
Title – Method of detecting arcenic ions with indicator bacteria

Claim 20
A biologically based test system for the detection of inorganic and organic pollutants in water samples, comprising

  • a genetically modified bacterium producing a marker protein upon induction of a regulatory protein, wherein
    • the activity of said regulatory protein is induced by the presence of said pollutant, wherein said genetically modified bacterium comprises at least one additional DNA binding site for the regulatory protein.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • a biologically based test system for the detection of inorganic and organic pollutants in water samples (claim 20)

Definitions extracted from the specification are:

  • Pollutant – there is no definition for this term. Subsequent dependent claims recite that the pollutant be “inorganic” or “arsenite and arsenate”.
  • Bacterium – there is no limit on the type of bacterium that may be used.  Subsequent dependent claims recite that the bacterium be “selected from the group comprising the bacteria Ralstonia metallidurens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli”.
  • Marker protein – the activity… is usually measured by a luminometer.  A subsequent dependent claim recites the marker protein to be “selected from the group consisting of alkaline phosphatase (PhoA), chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT-gene), catechol dioxygenase (XyIE), bacterial luciferase (LuxAB), eukaryotic luciferase (Luc) beta-galactosidase (LacZ), and green fluorescent protein (GFP)”.
  • Regulatory protein – there is no definition for this term.  A subsequent dependent claim recites the regulatory protein to be “the ArsR protein of the ars operon of the plasmid R773 or any other ArsR protein…”.

Comments:

Claims 1-20 have been cancelled.
Since this is a published application and not a granted patent, currently there are no enforceable rights.

WO 2003/102223

  • Earliest priority – 31 May 2002
  • Filed – 19 May 2003
  • Published – 11 Dec 2003
  • Expected expiry – not applicable
Title – Method of detecting arcenic ions with indicator bacteria

Claim 1
A  biologically based test system for the detection of inorganic and organic pollutants in water samples comprising

  • a genetically modified bacterium producing a marker protein upon induction of a regulatory protein, wherein
    • the activity of said regulatory protein is induced by the presence of said pollutant, characterized in that said genetically modified bacterium comprises at least one additional DNA binding site for the regulatory protein.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • a biologically based test system for the detection of inorganic and organic pollutants in water samples (claim 1)

Definitions extracted from the specification are provided in US 2005/255444.

Comments:

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

Remarks
  1. National phase entry of WO 2003/102223 in Australia (AU 2003/240673) has lapsed on 4 Feb 2005.
  2. National phase entry of WO 2003/102223 in Europe (EP 1509616) is pending.

Search strategy

Search details
Date of search 03/07/2006
Database searched Patent Lens
Type of search Structured, stemming on
Collections searched AU-B, US-A, US-B, EP-B, WO
Search terms zinc AND (meer in inventor)
Results 33
Comments Of the 33 results identified using these search terms, one result was identified as being of particular interest based on their abstracts and a review of their claims.