US high-schooler invents colour-changing suture to detect infection

Lahore, 21st April: A teenager from the USA’s high school invents a colour-changing suture to detect infections.

A 17-year-old teenager Dasia Taylor from Iowa, USA, has invented a revolutionary suture that changes color if surgical wounds become infected.

This feature will help doctors to get alerted in finding fatal infections from the wounds.

Dasia invented this new type of suture keeping in mind the women of the developing nations who are affected badly by surgical site infections, especially Cesarean sections for childbirth.

Miss Taylor’s secret ingredient is a beet. She used the juice of three dozen beets to dye assorted suture materials. She found out that a polyester and cotton thread had the best possible thickness, absorbency and noticeable darkening of colour when they get exposed with a higher pH level that shows infection.

According to a study from the National Library of Medicine, the average pH level of healthy skin is five, but when a wound is infected, the level goes up to about nine.

Miss Taylor confirmed that beets change colour to show these pH changes.

Dasia stitched the thread in the form of sutures on an artificial skin pad and exposed it to different pH solutions to replicate her results.

This was part of Dasia’s Regeneron Science Talent Search medicine and health project. After which she wishes to help mankind especially the disadvataged.

This invention by Taylor has won her the Iowa State science fair and a place as a finalist in the National Regeneron Science Talent Search competition organized by the Society by Science.

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