Entrepeneurship | iGEM Stockholm


Would we be able to make a business with our project?

Executive Summary & Problem Description

Executive Summary

The iGEM Stockholm 2021 team consists of 16 young entrepreneurs with a background in biotechnology, biomedicine, nanotechnology and more technical sciences. Together, we are developing MIKROSKIN, a rapid test for discerning imbalances in skin microbiota. For this, the test uses a set of DNA aptamers to diagnose dysbiosis in the form of imbalances in the amount of S. aureus and C. acnes on the skin.

With MIKROSKIN, we aim to find a link between the abundance of various bacteria on the skin and several skin conditions. If a correlation is found, MIKROSKIN could be used to enable better and more personalized treatment since it would work as a tool for diagnosis. It would help determine the course of further treatment in e.g. atopic dermatitis.

The belief we have in the importance of MIKROSKIN led to the formation of the business model. Our stakeholders include researchers with a focus on skin microbiota and skincare companies including, but not limited to, pro- and prebiotics, national and international regulatory organs (WHO, EU), as well as people experiencing skin problems. To survey the necessity of our product, we conducted an extensive market and competitor analysis. Ethical concerns, discussed under the safety tab, as well as patent applications within Sweden via the Swedish Patent and Registration office (PRV) and intellectual property rights (IPR), will be discussed. All of these factors have to be taken into account to ensure a successful launch and sale of MIKROSKIN.

Problem Description

Worldwide, skin problems affect a massive portion of the population. Acne alone affects up to 85% of the 11 to 30 year old population around the world (Dagnelie, Montassier, Khammari, et al. 2019). Acne, however, is only one of the possible consequences of an imbalanced skin microbiota.

It is now hypothesized this imbalance in skin microbiota plays a role in a variety of skin diseases, including in eczema, acne vulgaris, rosacea and atopic dermatitis (Liu, Wang, Dai, et al. 2020, Murillo & Raoult, 2013, Williams, Costa, Zaramela et al. 2019). Additionally, an imbalance in skin microbiota can affect wound healing, e.g. by leading to chronic wounds (Tomic-Canic, Burgess, O’Neill, et al. 2020). Generally, it is difficult to establish this imbalance. Many of the diseases associated with the skin are not correlated to microbiota yet, which is why doctors do not look in this area for treatment. Additionally, exact numbers on how many people experience imbalances in skin microbiota are not known, showing how important it is to have a rapid test to help establish knowledge in this area.

For this reason, we are developing MIKROSKIN: a rapid test to find a correlation between bacteria on the skin and diseases they may cause. By targeting S. aureus and C. acnes, imbalances in which are commonly associated with atopic dermatitis and acne, respectively, a possible link could be examined.


  • Dagnelie MA, Montassier E, Khammari A, Mounier C, Corvec S, et al. Inflammatory
  • skin is associated with changes in the skin microbiota composition on the back of severe acne patients. Exp Dermatol. 2019 Aug;28(8):961-967. Epub 2019 Jul 3.
  • Ying L, Shan W, Wankui D, Yuan L, Chunping S, et al. Distinct Skin Microbiota Imbalance and Responses to Clinical Treatment in Children With Atopic Dermatitis. Front in Cell and Infect Microbiology. 2020;10:336.
  • Murillo N, Raoult D. Skin microbiota: overview and role in the skin diseases acne vulgaris and rosacea. Fut Microbio. 2013;8(2).
  • Williams MR, Costa SK, Zaramela LS, Khalil S, Todd DA, et al. Quorum sensing between bacterial species on the skin protects against epidermal injury in atopic dermatitis. Sci Trans Med. 2019 May;11(490):eaat8329.
  • Tomic-Canic M, Burgess JL, O’Neill KE, Strbo N, Pastar I. Skin microbiota and its interplay with wound healing. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2020;21:36-43.


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