The 2018 Virginia State Science and Technology was held on the 14th of April in Roanoke's Berglund Special Events Center. This year 263 students presented nearly 200 outstanding projects which had been previously reviewed at local fairs in schools around the State. Drs Mitchell Bukzin and William Burston represented the Virginia Dental Association while attempting to select those projects which represented the best science and most relevant issues. The VDA generously provides funds for presenting a grand prize of $1500 and several category prizes of $100. It is our hope that we can show the best and brightest of students throughout Virginia that our profession remains at the forefront of dedication to the advancement of health through basic science and its technological applications.
The winner of the Malbon Prize this year, we are proud to announce, is a young woman from Hayfield Secondary School, Ms. Divya Kranthi. Ms. Kranthi is a "Young Lion" through which she volunteers her time for community service. Her project "A Novel Dye Array Based Mobile Application as a Preliminary Diagnostic Tool for the Detection of Lung Cancer" impressed the judges with its novel approach and the use of basic science to further diagnostic medical arts.
Other projects and students of note were:
Engineering Materials and Bioengineering: Alternative to Echocardiography: Using Deep Learning to Diagnose Heart Murmurs. Sylesh Suresh, Ankit Gupta, George Tang of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Engineering Electrical and Mechanical: Artificial Spinal Cord for Paraplegics. Nithin Dass; Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Physics and Astronomy: Capacitance of N-Sided Polygons. Luke Mrini, Sagada Penano; Lake Braddock High School
Cellular and Molecular Biology: Immunomodulation of Enhanced Neuronal Regeneration, Neha Damaraju; Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
The following is the full abstract for the winning project:
A Novel Dye Array Based Mobile Application as a Preliminary Diagnostic Tool for Detection of Lung Cancer
Four volatile organic compounds strongly linked to lung cancer, were shortlisted from published papers. These compounds belong to different chemical groups. Authors have developed dye based arrays to reliably detect these four volatile organic compounds. However, the current process of detection involves a series of steps including spectrometric scanning of the array using sophisticated equipment. A simple, rapid, affordable and non-invasive test would be ideally preferred as a preliminary test to detect pulmonary conditions including lung cancer. I developed a dye array based mobile application, which enables reliable detection of at least the chosen four major VOCs. The dye spots in the array react to the volatile organic compounds present in exhaled breath, resulting in a change in color. Based on the analysis of the change in RGB (Red, Green, Blue) values of the dye spots on the array, the app indicates whether or not a person is at risk of inflammatory or pulmonary disorders and diseases including lung cancer.