Innovative Minds: Leanne Fan

Mesa Verde Middle School | 8th grade | 14 years old

Finsen Headphones: Treating Mid-Ear Infections Using Machine Learning and Phototherapy

About the Idea

Leanne developed the Finsen Headphones: Treating Mid-Ear Infections Using Machine Learning and Phototherapy

Why did you enter the 3M Young Scientist Challenge?

I believe that the Young Scientist Challenge is an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will allow me to dive deep into the depths of my project and make my Finsen Headphones the absolute best they can be. I would love to meet other young innovators and learn all about how they are also achieving their dreams.

What is your favorite invention of the last 100 years, and why?

My favorite invention is Phototherapy. Phototherapy has been overshadowed for decades due to the popularity and ease of use of antibiotics. In 1893, Niels Finsen found that the lengthy exposure of smallpox sufferers to the red light formed by exclusion of the violet end of the spectrum in sunlight prevents the pus formation of pockmarks. Finsen won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1903 for his work on phototherapy. Phototherapy is also commonly used for eczema and acne, and is a non medicinal way of killing bacteria and treating diseases. It is very versatile and has endless possibilities, and inspired me to start my project.

In 15 years I hope to be...

The founder of a biomedical device company. I want to be able to provide affordable and accessible medical devices to people that need them.

Always try to be a better self!

Meet the Mentor

Dr. Ross Behling

3M Senior Research Specialist

As a chemical engineer with 10+ years of experience in 3M corporate research labs, Dr. Ross Behling has invented numerous pressure-sensitive adhesive products in handheld electronics, industrial assembly, and automotive bonding applications.

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