The skin is our largest organ. Unfortunately for one third of the population, their skin is affected by skin disease (1). This not only negatively influences their physical but for many also decreases their mental health (2). Understanding the cause and mechanism of a disease is important to design an effective treatment plan, but also to improve self-awareness.
Our Thought Process:
The skin microbiota consists of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and archaea that live on the skin. Having a healthy microbiota means having a balanced proportion of the different bacteria. Dysbiosis is a change in the bacterial proportion that possibly can lead to disease. With the recent leaps in gut microbiota research and motivation within the team we had two questions that we could not let go:
We aimed to develop an aptamer-based biosensor for detecting skin microbiota dysbiosis.
This biosensor would be a quick and inexpensive test that enables the detection and quantification of various strains of bacteria present on the skin, without the need for DNA sequencing. By using this tool we want to pave the way for personalised treatment of skin problems and reduce antibiotic usage.
Our test was aimed for acne vulgaris, the official name for the common form of the disease acne. In this wiki, this will be continuously referred to as acne.
Our dry-lab has done a fantastic job working on the model showing our project for you to visualise here!Read More
Despite the pandemic, we worked tireless to connect with the community and organise safe events for people to get to know our team and work, and have some fun!Read more
1. Flohr C, Hay R. Putting the burden of skin diseases on the global map. British Journal of Dermatology. 2021 ; 184 (2): 189 - 190.
2. Schuster B, Ziehfreund S, Albrecht H, Biedermann T, Peifer C et al. Happiness in dermatology: a holistic evaluation of the mental burdern of skin diseases. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology. 2020 ; 34 (6): 1331 - 1339