Nanotechnology at the White House Science Fair

Nanotechnology at the White House Science Fair


Let’s see if you can top this
That’s a hard act to follow Hi Mr. President. I am Ruchi.
I’m from San Jose California What year in school?
I’m a senior. Fantastic. Do you know where you’re going to go next year. Not yet colleges
acceptions are coming out soon. I’m still waiting. I suspect you’ll do OK. So what are
you working on? I’ve developed a nanotechnology biosensor for cardiac health diagnostic. So
cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the world. It causes approximately 1/3
of deaths. Current methods for detecting cardiac arrest are long, they’re expensive, they’re
invasive so I wanted to develop a device that was very inexpensive, minimally invasive and
very sensitive so this is actually what it looks like. So it is a silicon wafer based
device it is based in nanotechnology so one drop of blood would give me an electrochemical
read-out based on which I could tell you what a certain protein concentration in your blood
stream is and based on that I can tell you your risk for cardiac arrest So this protein
in the blood stream there is a high correlation So there is actually a linear correlation
between the change in current that I can detect and the protein concentration in your blood
stream. Was the correlation well established and how can you detect the protein efficiently?
Did you also have to try to map that correlation? So it was to increase the sensitivity of this
device. This device is actually 250X more sensitive than what is conventionally used.
It can detect acute cardiac illness and chronic cardiac illness. So what was the principle
that lead you to make it so much more efficient? It is based in nanotechnology so I can actually
maximize and manipulate the large surface area of the carbon nanofibers They actually
look like this, vertically aligned carbon nanofibers. Based on which I can actually
just latch on linkers and antibodies and antigens to actually detect certain proteins. So the
beauty in this device is that it can be used not only for health diagnostics but also for
bio warfare agents detection or food safety monitoring or environmental monitoring. So,
just the concept generally, where you’ve got a correlation that you can establish using
nanotechnology you can get a more sensitive, more acute, and quicker and ultimately cheaper
technique. So, even cheaper than this is the paper based sensor. So, you can actually touch
it if you want to. It is a paper based sensor so the idea is something like this could be
used to take a form of an insulin test. So you go to CVS, pick it up, use it, and throw
it away. It would be extremely cheap, very economical, and really revolutionize the in-home patient care market. So, this seems like a pretty big deal so where are we at
now in terms of you taking what you’ve learned and starting to talk to companies already
in the diagnostic field on this? So I am working at NASA Ames Moffettt Field CA so we’re working
on that prototyping stage right now. Working on making it a hand held device so you can
actually just test on the go or at home so we’re working on that right now. Obviously
you are going to continue with your research, ideas and products. Yes, definitely. Do you
have any idea what ultimately you’d like to do? I hope to major in materials science and
engineering in college and then work as a technology entrepreneur. Excellent. In the
valley. In the valley. In the valley. Let’s take a good picture. Really proud of you.
Thank you. Congratulations. So nice to meet you. Really nice to meet you. That’s great.
Thank you. Fantastic.

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