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Challenge Cleveland Clinic: Artificial Cell or Vesicle for Incorporation of Proteins / Molecules
Cleveland Clinic: Artificial Cell or Vesicle for Incorporation of Proteins / Molecules
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 149
Posted: Oct 01 2014
Challenge ID: 9933485
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The Seeker wishes to incorporate proteins or other biomolecules into an artificial cell or vesicle membrane where their interaction can be studied without the interference of native proteins / molecules, inevitable when using an actual cell.  This challenge seeks ideas for how to create an artificial cell / vesicle which will closely resemble that of a native cell and will be able to survive experimentation, including storage, handling, and centrifugation, and which will also allow for incorporation of a water soluble dye which will be released into solution when the cell / vesicle is disrupted or lysed. 

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.



Researchers often need to study the interaction between proteins presented on cell surface instead of in the soluble phase. One problem with performing this type of analysis in real cells is the interference of non-specific effects due to other proteins which may interact with the same molecules. For example, a scientist may wish to measure the consequence of antibody binding to a specific cell surface protein, but the antibody may bind to other similar proteins and other proteins may interfere with the antibody initiated effects, making it impossible to attribute the observed effects to the protein of interest. The Seeker wishes to construct artificial vesicles / cells which will allow for incorporation of specific proteins / molecules and also will contain a water soluble dye to be released upon disintegration of the artificial membrane (cell lysis). The solution must produce artificial membranes which are similar in nature to actual cell membranes, will stand up to the rigors of experimentation, and will be cost effective. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. 
  • Submission forwarding occurs during the Challenge.  Since submissions will be forwarded to the Seeker throughout the Challenge, please make sure you upload only a finished proposal. You can submit an updated version of your proposal only as a new submission. If you submit an updated version of your proposal, please clearly indicate the new items and/or edits compared to your previous submission. This will allow the Seeker to quickly find the new information and determine how it improves your submission. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on October 31, 2014.  Late submissions will not be considered. 

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided


Dr. Feng Lin is a research scientist in the Department of Immunology at Cleveland Clinic.  His work focuses on immune regulation in autoimmune diseases and transplantation. He is well published and receives grant support from the NIH and other funding agencies.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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