Quantitative Acoustic Contrast Tomography for Studying Fungal Growth and Toxicity


Reference #: 01080

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a minimally invasive technique that can provide accurate information of the mechanical and the morphological features of an entire landscape of an expanding fungal colony.

Invention Description:

The subject invention is can simultaneously study the structural, architectural, and material properties as well as the mechanical strength properties in a fungal colony. This can be used to predict levels of fungal invasion and toxicity under a given set of environmental conditions. The technology consists of a tri-modular, acoustic contrast tomography that renders morphological and material property information within the colony at multiple scales across invading fungal colonies as they expand on and into their substrates:

FIRST MODULE: Exposes the entire volume of the specimen to a broadband of ultrasonic waves and collects the reflected waves from each point within the volume of the specimen;

SECOND MODULE: Decodes the inherent properties of the waves reflected from each point from the specimen and renders a 3D referred to as “quantitative acoustic contrast tomography”;

THIRD MODULE: Extracts from the tomograph the structural growth and architectural details of the colony and predicts the extent of fungal invasion into the substrate under the conditions and the likelihood that certain regions of the colony have started contaminating the environment with their toxic metabolites. The tomography can also be used for testing the efficiency and efficacy of potent antifungal molecules.

Potential Applications:

Pharmaceuticals and sustainable agricultural

Advantages and Benefits:

1. Provides a safe, accurate and multi-scale read-out tool for studying fungal growth and pathogenesis. Hence, it will actively support the efforts for discovery of new methods for prevention of fungal growth in the environment and therapeutics for treatment of fungal diseases.

2. Provides the most minimally invasive way of studying fungal colony architecture and hyphal material properties simultaneously at multiple scales.

3. Ensures safety along with accuracy because users are not required to physically handle the fungal specimens.


Visualizing global changes in morphology of cell colonies growing on and into their substrates with precision is extremely challenging with other light microscopy methods and often involves sample preparation that require cells to grow in conditions very different from their native growth conditions. Additionally, mapping and quantifying mechanical properties directly, while monitoring global morphology, has not been reported because such properties cannot be visualized.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Quantitative Acoustic Contrast Tomography for Studying Fungal Growth and Toxicity Utility United States 14/592,368 9,670,522 1/8/2015 6/6/2017 7/31/2035 Issued
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Sourav Banerjee
Anindya Chanda
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