Science Rocks U; Whiteface, Texas
Team Members: Jessica Lawson, Marcus Ruff, Madison Wilbanks and Laura Wilbanks (Team Advisor)
The “Wound Warriors” focused on developing a bandage that would decrease the risk of bacterial infection for soldiers injured in the field and those with high risk conditions. The team applied many different natural and prescription ointments on wounded planaria invertebrates to learn which ingredient would fight bacteria and allow for quick regeneration of tissue. Numerous substances were also tested in Petri dishes including honey, Vitamin B, green tea and Omnicef. In multiple tests, honey was as effective as prescription strength antibiotics and repeatedly slowed down the rate of the bacterial growth fastest in wounds. Honey was then applied to a biomaterial called hydrogel in a tissue engineering experiment. The material was formed into a pattern mimicking the overlapping skin cells of sharks – which do not contract infections. The use of this bandage decreased bacterial growth in the lab by 25 percent.