BLUF

A US high school student has developed surgical sutures that change colour if a wound becomes infected, enabling medical staff to respond quickly and treat the infection.

Summary

Post-operative infection has always been a major concern for surgeons; early detection of infection is vital in preventing infections from becoming worse. A US high-school student Dasia Taylor has developed a way to spot infection early by using vegetable-dyed sutures. Dasia became aware of patients' relatively high infection rate in low socio-economic countries compared to the USA rate. Though there was already infection-alerting technology in place using mobile phone apps, she realised patients in developing countries would have less access to mobile phone technology. Her solution was to develop a suture dyed in beet juice which would change colour when an infection developed. Although still in the early stages of development, this invention resulted in Dasia becoming one of 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the USA's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.