High Schooler Developed Color-Changing Sutures to Help Detect Infection

Dasia Taylor, a 17-year-old high schooler has invented a surgical suture that can help to detect possible infections.…
High schooler

Dasia Taylor, a 17-year-old high schooler has invented a surgical suture that can help to detect possible infections. This surgical suture changes colors when it detects infections. With this invention, surgeons will be able to identify infections before they become severe.

These sutures are said to be the ideal solution to a common problem in Africa. Dasia began her project back in 2019 at Iowa City West High School. This project helped Dasia to win many regional science fair prizes. Dasia’s method makes use of beetroot.

Normally, the pH of our skin is at 5 on average but an infected wound increases that acidity to a pH of 9. It appears that beetroots change their color from red to deep purple as the level of pH around its environment increases.

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I found that beets changed color at the perfect pH point. That’s perfect for an infected wound. And so, I was like, ‘Oh, okay. So beets are where it’s at.

Dasia

Dasia looked for the material that will help hold the dye from the beetroot and as well as meeting the requirements of the suture thread. She discovered that a cotton-polyester combination was the ideal option. The red suture started turning purple after five minutes of detecting infection. This suggested that patients would know about the infection instantly.

Through Dasia’s invention, she won a sum of $25,000 and also received the Seaborg Award. Dasia was also honored with the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Regeneron Science Talent Search Class of 2021.

Funny enough, this high schooler wants to pursue a career in political science at Horward University. Dasia said she is glad to be one of those kids being celebrated in her school.

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