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Jul 26, 2013

Marblar Challenges GEN Readers to Find New Uses for "Super-Biotin"

Marblar Challenges GEN Readers to Find New Uses for "Super-Biotin"

There's now a way to link biotin to a range of compounds using a bond that is resistant to enzyme degradation. How would you use this method?

  • A month ago, GEN introduced you to Marblar, a firm that crowdsources market applications for emerging and existing technology, allowing anyone worldwide to compete and collaborate toward reimagining how said technology might be applied. Now, we're calling to your attention a new Marblar challenge called "Super-Biotin" that involves a special biological linking method.

    A molecule called biotin is often attached to different compounds in a range of research and clinical applications due to its highly specific binding interaction with another molecule called streptavidin. This is useful in lots of in vitro assays, but its use in the body has previously been limited due to the fact that the linker between the biotin and compound is very sensitive to certain enzymes, a problem that a group from the University of Edinburgh has just solved: They have found a way to link biotin to a variety of compounds using a bond that is resistant to enzyme degradation, while maintaining biotin's ultra-high affinity to streptavidin.

    These capabilities are already being utilized by members of the Marblar community in applications ranging from imaging tumors and organs to pharmaceutical research and development. Can YOU think of a new use for this new biotin-linking method? Click here to take the challenge! The prize is $1,000.

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