High Schooler Invented Color-Changing Sutures to Detect Infe
Now open: Certificate Course in Management of Covid-19 by Govt. Of Gujarat and PlexusMDKnow more...Now open: Certificate Course in Management of Covid-19 by Govt. Of Gujarat and PlexusMDKnow more...
17-year-old high schooler Dasia Taylor submitted a surgical suture that changes colors to warn of possible infections. The invention is aimed at helping surgery patients in Africa detect infections before they become serious. Post-surgical infection rates are typically higher in Africa. Beginning her project back in 2019, the process from theory to practice ended up winning Dasia several regional science fair prizes.

Her method uses beetroot, famous as any cook knows for turning everything red and purple. The pH of our skin averages at 5, while an infected wound raises that acidity to a pH of 9, and as it turns out beets change color from candy apple red to deep purple as the pH level of its environment grows.

“I found that beets changed color at the perfect pH point,” Taylor tells Smithsonian. That’s perfect for an infected wound. After concluding beets were where it’s at, the next step was to find which material held the dye from the beet juice in while also fulfilling the natural requirements of suture thread. A cotton-polyester blend eventually proved to be the ticket.

After five minutes of infection, the red suture began to turn purple, suggesting patients would be aware of infection immediately, perhaps even before being discharged from a hospital. While outside of the top ten, Dasia’s sutures won her $25,000, as well as the Seaborg Award, given by the 40 finalists to whichever student most embodies the spirit of their class. Taylor was also given the honor of speaking on behalf of the Regeneron Science Talent Search Class of 2021.

“I have so much school pride because when somebody in our school does something great, they’re celebrated to its fullest extent,” says Taylor. “And being able to be one of those kids has been so amazing.” Curiously enough, Taylor sees her fortunes elsewhere and wants to study political science at Howard University, before becoming a lawyer when her time at high school comes to an end.

Dr. T●●●●z H●●●●●●i and 17 others like this10 shares
K●●●●l P●●●●y
K●●●●l P●●●●y General Medicine
Amazing invention. This will surely help in better patient management
Apr 2, 2021Like1
Dr. A●●k R●i
Dr. A●●k R●i Internal Medicine
Excellent! Keep it up.
Apr 4, 2021Like
Dr. A●●●●●i P●●●●●●a
Dr. A●●●●●i P●●●●●●a Internal Medicine
Kudos.... To the budding mind 🙌
Apr 4, 2021Like