Angela Zhang is one teenager who does not need to be told to “Dream big.” 17-year-old Zhang is the winner of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, and received $100,000 for the nanoparticle that she created.
What’s so special about the nanoparticle? It kills cancer. Her project is called, “Design of Image-guided, Photo-thermal Controlled Drug Releasing Multifuntional Nanosystem for the Treatment of Cancer Stem Cells.” According to Geekosystem, she spent 1,000 hours developing the particle since 2009.
Her creation is being heralded as a “Swiss army knife of cancer treatment.” Zhang managed to develop a nanoparticle that can be delivered to the site of a tumor through the drug salinomycin. Once there it kills the cancer stem cells. However, Zhang went further and included both gold and iron-oxide components, which allow for non-invasive imaging of the site through MRI and Photoacoustics.