Teen Grace Sun Wins $75K for Biomedical Breakthrough

Image credit: Shethepeople

Grace Sun, a 16-year-old from Kentucky, won $75,000 for her research on biomedical devices at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest science fair in the world. While her friends were busy with everyday activities, Grace focused on improving medical implants.

Her project worked on organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs), which are flexible and soft, unlike traditional hard silicon devices. OECTs can be used in the heart or brain and detect diseases early by sensing proteins and nucleic acids in sweat or blood. They could also monitor things like blood alcohol content and blood glucose levels, helping people with diseases like diabetes and epilepsy, and potentially replacing more invasive devices like pacemakers.

Grace aimed to make OECTs more stable and effective. She experimented with adding different organic salts to these devices. She found that one salt, tetrabutylammonium chloride, greatly improved the device’s sensitivity, speed, and performance. This makes OECTs better at detecting disease markers in the body.

Grace’s success at ISEF shows how important her research is. ISEF, hosted by the Society for Science, is often compared to the Olympics of science competitions. Nearly 2,000 students went to Los Angeles to participate in lectures, meet others, and present their research. This year, the competition had a record $9 million prize pool. Grace won the top prize, the $75,000 George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award.

Ian Jandrell, a judge at ISEF, said Grace’s project was the best. Grace plans to continue developing her OECTs and hopes to start a business to make these devices available to the public, potentially transforming medical implants and improving healthcare.

Re-reported from the article originally published in She the People.

Teen Grace Sun Wins $75K for Biomedical Breakthrough

Image credit: Shethepeople

Grace Sun, a 16-year-old from Kentucky, won $75,000 for her research on biomedical devices at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest science fair in the world. While her friends were busy with everyday activities, Grace focused on improving medical implants.

Her project worked on organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs), which are flexible and soft, unlike traditional hard silicon devices. OECTs can be used in the heart or brain and detect diseases early by sensing proteins and nucleic acids in sweat or blood. They could also monitor things like blood alcohol content and blood glucose levels, helping people with diseases like diabetes and epilepsy, and potentially replacing more invasive devices like pacemakers.

Grace aimed to make OECTs more stable and effective. She experimented with adding different organic salts to these devices. She found that one salt, tetrabutylammonium chloride, greatly improved the device’s sensitivity, speed, and performance. This makes OECTs better at detecting disease markers in the body.

Grace’s success at ISEF shows how important her research is. ISEF, hosted by the Society for Science, is often compared to the Olympics of science competitions. Nearly 2,000 students went to Los Angeles to participate in lectures, meet others, and present their research. This year, the competition had a record $9 million prize pool. Grace won the top prize, the $75,000 George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award.

Ian Jandrell, a judge at ISEF, said Grace’s project was the best. Grace plans to continue developing her OECTs and hopes to start a business to make these devices available to the public, potentially transforming medical implants and improving healthcare.

Re-reported from the article originally published in She the People.