CHANDLER, Ariz - Healing with gold may seem like a farfetched idea, but it got one Chandler student a direct ticket to an international student science competition. And she did it with her project "The Midas Touch-Healing with Gold Nano Rods."
"'The Midas Touch,' there's a story about King Midas who has this curse," Ananyaa Mahajan said. "Whenever he touches anything, it turns into gold, so I thought when you put the gold on the wound, you're healing the wound, so it's kind of like the Midas Touch."
Ananyaa Mahajan, 15, is a sophomore at BASIS Chandler. Recently, she was one of several students selected to represent Arizona and compete in the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, Environment, Project -- or ISWEEEP in Houston. The organization says it's the largest international science competition focusing on renewable resources.
"She's been a very perseverant student, never giving up, always trying to come up with better and better projects every year," BASIS biology teacher Vidya Ananthnarayan said. "Nothing stops her from moving forward and that's one of the best qualities I see in her which will take her a long way in life."
Ananyaa says she sees this technology as a means to help speed healing by incorporating a laser tissue welding technique along with a tiny amount of gold. The nano-sized flecks of gold are infused into special silk film bandages.
"Under infrared radiation, under the laser, it absorbs energy and it releases heat in a very small amount in your body," Ananyaa said. "It's not going to do any harm -- that's why it's a safer method than other metals."
Ananyaa's project will be competing against thousands of students representing 64 countries and 40 states with about 420 other projects overall. All of them are looking to win their share of $100,000 in awards and scholarships.