iGEM Stockholm

iGEM Stockholm 2021

The reason we created MIKROSKIN, was to begin a journey for more personalized, cheaper, and accessible health and skin care, to break the stigma of skin problems, and be a part of creating a better world using synthetic biology.

MIKROSKIN was awarded a gold medal, following in a long tradition of iGEM Stockholm.

If the above video doesn't work for you, feel free to watch our promotion video on MIKROSKIN here!

If the above video doesn't work for you, feel free to watch our presentation video on MIKROSKIN here!

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The Problem:

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:

  • What if we could go to the root of the cause of skin problems?
  • What if our skin microbiota could be linked to skin diseases?

  • Our Project:

    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.


    Want to learn more about our project and the nitty-gritty scientific details?

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    Our dry-lab has done a fantastic job working on the model showing our project for you to visualise here!

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    Human Practices

    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!

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    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