2 Iranian scientists nominated for BRIght Futures Prize

TEHRAN, Oct. 26 (MNA) – Two of three 2014 BRIght Futures Finalists are Iranian scientists, Hadi Shafiee and Nasim Annabi.

Hadi Shafiee, PhD, Division of Renal Medicine, BWH Department of Medicine has developed a low-cost, flexible microchip which can detect HIV and measure viral load in infected individuals at the point-of-care.

About his research project he explains, “monitoring HIV levels in a person’s blood, known as viral load testing, is the most accurate and preferred method to see whether treatment is working.”

“Yet the majority of HIV viral load testing options available today are expensive, laboratory-based, time-consuming and complex,” he continued, “our team is working on developing an affordable, simple and rapid diagnostic platform that can detect HIV in less than 30 minutes.”

“Our microchips can be made using printing technology that is currently available to anyone, even those in low- and middle-income countries,” he said about the unique aspects of his project. “The test is as simple as using a glucose meter and the cost per microchip is only a few pennies.”

Nasim Annabi, PhD, Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, another candidate for the 2014 BRIght Futures Prize, has developed an Elastic Surgical Glue which can be used to seal air and body fluid leakages after surgical procedures.

About her research project she explains, “after an operation, wounds are often closed using sutures, staples or surgical meshes. However, there remains a void in surgical sealants that can immediately seal wounds to stop body fluid leakage.”

“We are developing a stretchy surgical glue and sealant made from a human protein called tropoelastin,” she continued. “The glue sticks well to different tissues such as lung and heart tissue and is very biocompatible, since it is made of human protein and can naturally break down in the body over time.”

“The glue can be used in complicated cases, such as with patients suffering from an air leakage after lung surgery, or patients undergoing surgeries that require connecting blood vessels. Additionally, it can be used during minimally invasive surgeries where it can be delivered through a small needle and cured in seconds, thereby reducing operating time and improving outcomes,” she further explained.

The 2014 $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize will be presented at the third annual BWH Research Day on Thursday, November 20, 2014. The recipient of the prize will be decided by public vote. If you have been impressed by these Iranian scientists' projects, you can vote for them here.

MS
MNA
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