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High-School Follower Awarded | SURFI

High-School Follower Awarded

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Nina Ferenc

Nina Ferenc is a freshman student attending Westfield High School in Virginia. At the beginning of 2016, she came up with a science fair project that was designed based on our research on biodegradable zinc stents. She was intrigued by the corrosion and dissolution of zinc in a body, with a local aqueous environment that could have a pH value different than a typical biological environment of pH=7.35. Designing a simple experiment, she studied the effect of water pH on corrosion rate of zinc. By recording mass losses of zinc after 26 days, she confirmed the accelerated degradation of zinc in water with a lemon juice (acidic solution) as compared to water without additives or water with baking soda (alkaline solution). She then concluded/hypothesized that a drop in pH value of the zinc stent environment would increase its degradation. There are much broader implications of this project and could be linked to identification of the range of pH values that macrophages may need to generate at the surface of a zinc implant in order to degrade the implant at an accelerated rate.
We congratulate Nina on winning second place in the biomedical engineering category for the science fair across the whole Westfield High School! This is a really great accomplishment for a freshman student and we wish Nina continued success and excitement in science projects to come.

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