Development and marketing of protein docking games for the educational sector

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Life Sciences


A collaboration between researchers at Imperial College London and Goldsmiths, University of London funded by the BBSRC has developed two related scientific-based computer games, BioBlox2D and BioBlox3D, inspired by tackling one of the hardest problems in biological science - how molecules fit together. Both games have the potential be both fun-to-play and to teach students about chemistry and biology. The aim of this Follow on Fund application is to develop educational material to embed in the games and to further develop the functionality and visual appeal of the user interface. We envisage a freemium model to exploit the product. A light version will be freely available which will generate interest in commercial products with additional educational material marketed commercially by educational suppliers.


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Description This application stems from a BBSRC grant to Imperial and Goldsmiths to develop a protein docking game for use by the community (BioBlox).The aim of the grant is to promot the incorporation of BioBlox into resources used by the educational sector. The game is linked to an educational quiz.

Under this grant we worked with a consultancy firm IP-Pragmatics to make contact with some suppliers of educational material. In parallel we exhibited at the leadinh educational suppliers conference (Bett) in London. Contacts were established with several suppliers and discussions initiated about whether they are interested in BioBlox.

We also developed a new version of the game BioBlox2.5D that has a more realistic representation of the structure of proteins. This is also available to download on Google play and can be played on-line.
Exploitation Route Employed in schools for teaching.
Taken up be an educational resource supplier.
Sectors Education

Description The BioBlox resource was demonstrated at the Bett Educational exhibition in January 2019 and several school teachers were made aware of the resource
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal

Title BioBlox2.5 
Description This is a game to dock ligands into proteins. Itis availablefrom Google Play and can be played on line. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Not known 
Description Presentation of protein modelling resources at the Bett - An Educational show at Excel 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Prof Sternberg group together with members of Goldsmiths College exhibited at the Bett Show at the Excel Centre (23-26 January 2019) presenting molecular resources for educational use in schools. Two resources were presented i) EzMol: a web-based program to display protein and nucleic acid structures linked to a teaching portal and ii) BioBlox2D: a mobile game based on docking shapes linked to an A-level syllabus quiz. Imperial issued a press release about these resources.

As a result discussion have started with educational tools providers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019