Case ID: M23-033L

Published: 2023-05-30 09:50:08

Last Updated: 1692799480


Melanie Newell
Rolf Halden
Ayesha Babbrah
Anumitha Aravindan
Devin Bowes
Erin Driver

Technology categories

Bioanalytical Assays, Chemistries & DevicesDiagnostic Assays/DevicesEnvironmentalLife Science (All LS Techs)

Licensing Contacts

Jovan Heusser
Director of Licensing and Business Development
[email protected]

Wastewater Based Epidemiology Portfolio

Wastewater and sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants represent an underutilized diagnostic matrix indicative of many population-wide conditions (e.g., exposure to hazardous substances/pollutants, disease prevalence, health and prosperity, and more). While there have been many genome-wide and epigenome-wide association studies that show the importance of gene vs environment interactions, there is no clear data that shows that some communities are at higher risk for disease.
Researchers at the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University have developed a suite of technologies looking at wastewater-borne and sewage sludge-borne biomarkers that track at the population-wide level with disease prevalence, exposure, health, etc:
M23-033L assesses the prevalence of neurodegenerative disease in a population using epigenetic biomarkers found in wastewater and sewage sludge.
M23-033L also assesses the prevalence of colorectal cancer in a population using epigenetic biomarkers found in wastewater and sewage sludge.
M23-031L assesses human exposure to plasticizer and plastic monomers in a population by determining the concentration of certain analytes in wastewater and sewage sludge.
M23-032L tracks health and prosperity in a population by detecting the concentrations of certain analytes in wastewater and sewage sludge.
M23-043L is a biomarker panel for monitoring cardiovascular disease or cancer in a population by detecting certain biomarkers in urine and wastewater process flows.
M23-095L looks at measuring exposure of a population to volatile organic compounds (VOC) by detecting the concentrations of certain VOC analytes in wastewater process flows.
This suite of technologies represents novel tools to leverage wastewater to non-invasively and comprehensively generate population/community-level health assessments. 
Potential Applications
  • Wastewater based epidemiology to track or assess population-level prevalence or susceptibility:
    • Neurodegenerative disease
    • Colorectal cancer
    • Exposure to VOCs, plasticizer and plastic monomers
    • Human health and prosperity
    • Cardiovascular disease
Benefits and Advantages
  • Could be used to reduce or prevent incidence of disease
  • Widens the scope of cohort and case-controlled studies to identify population susceptibility to disease regionally
  • Provides near real-time data on population exposure to environmental toxins/substances to help protect vulnerable communities and mange public health locally
  • Inexpensive, non-invasive and comprehensive
For more information about this opportunity, please see
For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see