Published on February 5th, 2015 | by Rodrea Zeigler


Allen University’s Dr. Tomohiro Kawaguchi Granted US Patent on New Novel Assay in the Field of Medicine

Dr. Tomohiro Kawaguchi of Allen University along with two other researchers at the University of South Carolina developed a simple, sensitive and rapid method to detect quorum sensing signals which is an important assay in the field of medicine. A US patent was granted on this new novel assay on January 13, 2015.

This assay was developed by Dr. Kawaguchi and two USC researchers 8 years ago.  It took 8 years to receive a US patent.   His method proved that bacteria called Agrobacterium tumefaciens NTL4 (pCF218) (pCF372) can still function in a liquid form.  Therefore, it is a much easier assay than using actual cells.

Dr. Kawaguchi said, “In the past there were many methods developed to detect AHLs, such as whole cell assays using biosensors, thin-layer chromatography (TLC), gas chromatography (GC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS). Among those methods, whole-cell bioassays, such as the reporter bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens NTL4 (pCF218) (pCF372), have been the most popular and sensitive method because these methods don’t require expensive instruments (such as in HPLC and LC/MS). However, there are disadvantages of the whole-cell bioassay: 1) it requires relatively labor intensive cell conditioning, 2) it takes at least 24 hours for detection of AHLs, 3) it may be difficult to screen the inhibitors of QS when the test substance inhibits cell growth itself and 4) it is qualitative and does not provide accurate and precise quantification. My assay solved these disadvantages of previous methods.”

Dr. Kawaguchi hopes that his assay will speed up the progress of quorum sensing research so that we can combat disease by disrupting their communication.

Allen University is a private, coeducational institution located in Columbia, South Carolina.  It is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate degrees.  To learn more about Allen University, please visit

For further information, please contact:

Allen University

Office of Institutional Advancement

Phone: 803-376-5728



About the Author

Rodrea Zeigler serves on the editorial staff for Millennium Magazine and act as liaison between Allen and Millennium for educational events and student scholarship on campus. I regularly write for the cultural section of the Yellow Jacket Times, Allen University’s student-run newspaper, which gives the students updates on politics, new health care forums, and cultural events on campus as well as within society today. I am also President of the Chi Pi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, which is the International English Honor Society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 + eighteen =

Back to Top ↑

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!