Abhinav - Standing on Shoulders of Giants

Hello Fellow scientists,

In this week’s blog post, I am going to be covering a few topics.


Progress Made:

I researched and understood:

  • The process of collection, testing, separation, preservation, transport, transfusion, and finally disposal of used/unused bags
  • The specific technical requirements of blood storage bags
  • Why PVC is currently used, why a plasticizer is required, and why DEHP is the chosen plasticizer
  • What other alternatives have been attempted and their results in trials
  • Blood Storage Lesion - symptoms, causes, and effects
  • The role of Nitric Oxide on Biological processes 
  • And so on...


I created several prototypes that can augment Nitric Oxide in a PVC-alternate environment.





Opportunity and the Privilege of 3M Mentorship:

My mentor Ms. Dampier has been there for every step of the process of research and prototyping. Over the summer, we met constantly to share and discuss my solutions, roadblocks encountered, and alternative research ideas. She was able to connect me with other domain-specific individuals within 3M. Ms. Dampier helped source some materials for my prototyping. She has been my gateway to the enormous 3M and its myriad set of innovations and products. My mentor guided and challenged me all along the way, but I know that I can always count on her. The project provided me an opportunity to connect with other leading scientists and physicians such as Dr. Gottschall and Dr. Kanias. It’s been such a privilege to have worked closely with such an eminent and world-class scientist mentor and team.


Favorite part of the challenge:

Having experienced so many things throughout this challenge that are exciting, fun, interesting, thought-provoking, and more, it’s really hard to narrow it down to one specific item. Translating an idea into a working prototype, understanding the science, technology, and engineering, and seeing it all come to life is so fascinating! Learning from my mentor and specialty experts is a truly unique and rewarding experience. Connecting the dots of chemistry, biology, physics, math, and even history through this research project was very fulfilling. Just understanding how research works and the roadblocks that you face with innovation has been so clear to me throughout this challenge. 


Most challenging problems:

Some challenges I faced early on include the ability to receive and work with certain chemicals, human blood, and other bio-hazard materials that suppliers do not ship to teenagers nor to a residential address for liability and regulatory reasons. Furthermore, some specific testing can only be done with sophisticated equipment that is available in specialized labs. Understanding the chemistry and physics of synthetic polymers, their interactions with and inside organic matter is not an easy task, but doable. Another challenge is not having the ability to work in labs due to age restrictions and safety protocols. 


Specialized Equipment:


(Nitric Oxide Microsensor and Picoammeter)


(Laser Ektacytometer)



With enough grit, ingenuity, perseverance, and tremendous support from my mentor and the team of dedicated scientists, Dr. Gottschall and Dr. Kanias, I was able to take my innovation to the next level. My heartfelt thanks to them and so many other kind individuals.


Thank you for reading my blog. Stay safe!


Until next time, 


Abhinav Anne