Saturday 10 December 2016

Innovative students give it socks

Shane Hickey

Published 01/03/2011 | 05:00

Lisa Byrne , Ernesta Venslovaite and Emily Goode from St Joseph's College in Lucan, Dublin, at NovaUCD yesterday with their invention 'The Neem Sock', which helps diabetics fight foot infections using a herbal anti-bacterial oil
Lisa Byrne , Ernesta Venslovaite and Emily Goode from St Joseph's College in Lucan, Dublin, at NovaUCD yesterday with their invention 'The Neem Sock', which helps diabetics fight foot infections using a herbal anti-bacterial oil

IT is the most unlikely of inventions from the most unlikely of inventors.

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A group of teenagers have created a sock that could save diabetics from having a foot amputated.

The invention by Emily Goode (16), Lisa Byrne (17) and Ernesta Venslovaite (16) -- transition year students from St Joseph's College in Lucan, Dublin -- is designed to help diabetics who become prone to foot problems such as ulcers as their condition impairs the body's ability to fight infection.

In some extreme cases, this can result in a foot being amputation.

The sock design uses tetri oil, an anti-bacterial herbal remedy, in the lining to fight infections.

"Diabetics tend to have the biggest problems in healing the tiniest cuts. In one case, there was a tiny cut between the toes and his foot had to be amputated," Ernesta said.

The three are one of a group of teenagers whose projects from the recent BT Young Scientist exhibition were identified for further work to make a viable product.

They will all go through a mentoring programme in NovaUCD, the innovation and technology centre of the university, this week before a winner is decided at the end of the week.

Three transition year students from Loreto on the Green in Dublin city centre -- Kate O'Regan (16), Ciara Walsh (15) and Ruth Dargan (16) -- created an iPhone application to gauge the size of teenagers' carbon footprints.

Colm O'Neill, the managing director of business in BT Ireland, said the session would give students an opportunity to see how their ideas could be turned into viable companies.

Irish Independent

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