This Teen Used Juice You Probably Have in Your Fridge to Invent Low-Cost Stitches That Detect Infection

Dasia Taylor's sutures can be life-changing for people in developing countries.

Dasia Taylor invented sutures that can change color to indicate an infection is present.

Dasia Taylor invented sutures that can change color to indicate an infection is present.

High school senior Dasia Taylor knew she wanted a career in the medical field, but she wanted to take her passion to the next level. During some research with her chemistry teacher at Iowa City West High School, she realized there was a way to make stitches with a natural indicator that changes color if the person's wound is infected. What was the natural material she used?

Beet juice!


This smart teen invented sutures made with beet juice concentrate, and they change from a red color to a purple color when an infection is present. The beet juice responds to the changing pH level in the surrounding tissue and blood.

Dasia's sutures can be life-changing for people in developing countries, where wound infections are more prevalent. Her low-cost and easy sutures can help people learn of infections sooner and in an affordable way.

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