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Dignity Health - Mercy and Memorial Hospitals

Ishaan Brar: On the verge of a medical breakthrough

Bakersfield

Ishaan Brar is on the verge of a medical breakthrough.

He’s designed a new catheter that could change modern medicine.

And get this – he’s still in high school.

Brar is a Junior at Stockdale High School.

He recently competed and won at the International Science and Engineering Fair.

“I created essentially a new design on a catheter,” said Ishaan Brar.

Not sure what a catheter is?

“A catheter is simply a tube that is inserted into the body in order to move urine,” Brar said.

After any major surgery most patients require a catheter.

Brar said catheters are a necessary medical device, but they can complicate the recovery process.

“The problem with these catheters is that they promote bacterial infection, the reason is by creating an opening in the body bacteria are able to travel up into the bladder,” Brar said, “these bacteria are extremely difficult to kill. They form something known as biofilms.”

Biofilms are colonies of bacteria that can cause serious infections which could lead to sepsis, a life threatening condition Brar said kills more than 13,000 people a year.

“The issue has not been are there chemicals that can kill these biofilms, but rather how can we take these chemicals and insert them inside the catheter. So what I did was create the catheter design which has multiple interior sections allowing for chemicals that have been known to kill these bacteria to be inserted inside where it’s able to stop infections,” Brar said.

With the use of a 3D printer and the help of his father, Brar could very well change modern medicine.

“My dad is actually a Nephrologist which is a kidney doctor and what’s interesting about kidney doctors or I guess the entire nephrology area is a lot of their funding and a lot of what they do actually goes towards anti-biotics and the reason is because of these catheters. So I was really curious as to why that was and I realized that they’re simply combating infection rates by pumping people full of antibiotics. So I wanted to create a catheter that helped prevent all of that,” Brar said.

Brar has about a year of research invested into his new catheter idea.

He said more testing is needed and he’s excited to continue developing his product.

He also hopes to bring ISEF affiliation to the Kern County Science Fair to allow others to share there ideas and compete.

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