Anushka Naiknaware, a seventh-grader invented a bandage that can tell doctors when it needs to be changed, thus speeding healing, and with her invention, finished in the top eight in an international science contest run by Google.
Anushka Naiknaware, 13, won a $15,000 scholarship, a free trip to the Lego world headquarters in Denmark and a year’s worth of entrepreneurship mentoring from a Lego executive.
The Stoller Middle School student brought some serious scientific and mathematical chops to her feel-good science project: designing and testing a bandage that is embedded with teeny tiny monitors to let medical workers “see” whether the dressing has dried out enough that it needs to be changed without having to remove it from the patient.
Naiknaware said her project “aimed to create an inexpensive, biocompatible and reliable sensor which can detect and monitor moisture level in the wound dressing.”
Her project’s approach uses biopolymer chitosan in conjunction with carbon nanoparticles to effectively obtain all the required features. Prototype sensors were optimized over two generation. The data obtained through characterization in a controlled environment show successful meeting of the all the design objectives, she said.
The Google Science Fair, since it launched in 2011, is an annual global online science and technology competition open to individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18, broken up into categories for ages 13 to 15 and 16 to 18.