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Challenge Minimally Invasive Methods for Sampling Microbiome from Hair Follicles

Minimally Invasive Methods for Sampling Microbiome from Hair Follicles

STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 151
Posted: Sep 15 2017
Challenge ID: 9933905
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The importance of disease-associated microorganism in skin health has long been reported and there is a growing interest in performing metagenomics studies to further the knowledge in this field. Reliable and reproducible non-invasive methods have been developed to collect surface skin microbiome. However, analyses of non-superficial layers microbiome (i.e. hair follicle, sebaceous gland) has been slowed down by the absence of a reliable and reproducible noninvasive (or, at least, minimally invasive) sampling method to collect samples of biological material. 

Hence, the Seeker is looking for a novel method to collect such samples and avoid using invasive and painful punch biopsies. 

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.



Recent advances in sequencing technologies have enabled metagenomics analyses of many human body sites. In parallel, there has been a greater interest in understanding the human microbiome’s composition, function and potential relation to healthy and disease states. 

Several studies have catalogued the composition of bacterial communities of the surface of human skin. Superficial skin microbiome can be collected using noninvasive methods like swabbing or adhesive tapes (e.g. D-Squame®). However, collecting samples from deeper strata of the skin, such as follicular microbiome, is a more difficult to challenge to address. 

Therefore, the Seeker wishes to identify minimally invasive, reproducible and easy to implement microbiome sampling methods, for non-superficial analysis. 

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker. 

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a licensing agreement for a partial award if exclusive IP cannot be transferred by the Solver. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on October 30, 2017.  Late submissions will not be considered.

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An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-IP Transfer Challenge, meaning that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. By contrast, Theoretical-Licensing means that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

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