Innovative Minds: Shruti Sivaraman

Canyon Vista Middle School | 7th grade | 13 years old

DR-Check: A New Method for Detecting Diabetic Retinopathy

About the Idea

Meet Shruti. Shruti created a low-cost device and app that can detect and diagnose diabetic retinopathy (DR) by taking retinal images without the use of dilation drops.

Why did you enter the 3M Young Scientist Challenge?

I entered the 3M Young Scientist Challenge because I believe that it is an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will allow me to present my ideas to a science community as well as get the chance to expand my ideas making DR-Check the product I first imagined it to be!

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

CRISPR is my favorite invention of the last 100 years. CRISPR is a medical marvel that comes from short snippets of repetitive DNA sequences. Originally, this was found to be a naturally occurring defense mechanism in single-celled organisms. "CRISPR-associated" proteins or "cas" proteins cut out a segment of viral DNA and capture a chemical snapshot of the infection. The viral codes are copied into short pieces of RNA and binds to Cas9. Cas9 will now use the chemical snapshot of the infection and be able to detect and remove the virus with a matching RNA. As recently as 2012, scientists found that CRISPR can be hijacked not only by viral DNA, but any DNA in almost any organism. Scientists can edit any gene in a genome allowing either repairing a defective DNA or even inserting a completely new one. This ability means that diseases like cystic fibrosis and cancer that are linked to specific genetic errors can be treated. This is not restricted to humans; it can be used on plants or animals. This groundbreaking technology is still in its infancy and many benefits are continuing to unfold.

In 15 years I hope to be...

A computer engineer and help solve some of the big challenges faced in the world. I enjoy helping people around me. I like to observe the challenges or problems people face and solve those.

“What if - It takes just two words to unlock a world of infinite possibilities”

Meet the Mentor

Dr. Kannan Seshadri

3M Senior Product Development Specialist

Kannan is a serial inventor-innovator who thrives on translating new ideas and consumer insights to commercialization. His expertise in materials science and manufacturing brings a proven track record in product commercialization, new-to-world technology, and manufacturing process development.

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