That’s the title of 17 year old Wen Chyan’s winning entry in the 2008 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology and it comes with a scholarship valued at $100,000. Employing an adhesive polymer coating impregnated with silver ions, his hydrogel can be used to coat medical devices and gadgets to help prevent the spread of nosocomial infections.
From a Siemens press release:
Mr. Chyan’s Chemistry research of antimicrobial coatings looked to design a specialized coating aimed to prevent nosocomial infections. These infections, which are caused as a side effect of treatment in a hospital, afflict more than two million patients each year and result in more than 100,000 deaths annually. As part of his 360-degree approach to the subject matter, Mr. Chyan examined complex reactions, engaged in assay development, measured silver release kinetics and, finally, tested his proposed coating, showing true expertise on a wide range of topics that have direct applications in the medical field. His mentor for this project was Dr. Richard B. Timmons, of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Arlington
Mr. Chyan is a senior who would like to major in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering once in college. Upon completing his studies, he would like to pursue a position in academia, preferably at a research university where he can continue conducting research and teach at the same time. His various honors in Science include recognition from the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad, U.S. Biology Olympiad and Texas Science and Engineering Fair. He is the recipient of the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science Summer Research Scholarship (2008), and also founded a student chapter of the American Chemical Society at the University of North Texas. Mr. Chyan developed an interest in Science with the encouragement of his parents, who are both scientists. At an early age they would take him to tour their laboratories and perform demos. He also composes music and plays piano and violin in his spare time.
Press release: 2008 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology