Teen Invents Color-Changing Sutures That Spot Infection

A teenager from Iowa has been working on her science fair project since October 2019 and it’s a winner. Dasia Taylor has invented a suture thread that changes color when a surgical wound becomes infected. She uses beets to dye the thread and it turns from bright red to dark purple when there’s an infection.

The 17-year-old has already won a state science fair with her invention and she’s become one of 40 finalists in a national competition, the Regeneron Science Talent Search. It’s the country’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Taylor hopes her color-changing sutures will one day be able to help patients realize their surgical site has an infection as early as possible so they can get medical attention as soon as possible.

While Taylor is waiting to hear back on her college admissions, she’s looking to the future and plans to patent her invention someday. After she graduates from high school, Taylor hopes to attend Howard University, study political science and become a lawyer. Maya Ajmera, the president and CEO of the Society for Science, which runs the Science Talent Search says she’s interested in watching what problems Taylor “is going to continue to solve, to make the world a better place.”

Source: Smithsonian Magazine