Mumbai: This is the third time that OMOTEC has won the ISEF (Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair). High school scientists around the world win nearly $8 million in prizes and scholarships at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Expo. Regeneron ISEF provides a global stage for the best and brightest young scientists and engineers from around the world. Founded on the belief that advances in science are essential to solving global challenges, Regeneron ISEF supports and invests in the next generation of leading STEM thinkers who generate insights and act as catalysts for the change needed to improve well-being. of all people and the planet.
OMOTEC students Aditya Mehta and Manav Kothari, both from Dhirubai Ambani International School, won the Grand Award at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), an international mega competition held recently in Atlanta (USA) , for showcasing their non-invasive oral cancer screening and grading technology.
“OMOTEC is really proud of our students for winning this prestigious award on the global platform. Their MOUTHSCOPE project works on the concept of autofluorescence where the phone camera scans the entire oral cavity, detects both potentially malignant lesions and cancerous tissue for potentially cancerous lesions without professional intervention. We want young India to innovate by learning new technologies and make India the hub for new products,” said OMOTEC co-founder Shekhar Jain.
The project, presented by Aditya Mehta & Manav Kothari Mouthscope, uses AI to make oral cancer screening more accessible by automating it. We have designed a device that scans the entire oral cavity for potentially cancerous lesions without professional intervention. Mouthscope works on the principle of autofluorescence: it emits low wavelength light which excites fluorophores in normal mucosa and not in cancerous tissue, causing cancerous tissue to have a darker color. The phone’s camera captures this and sends it to the machine learning model which predicts with 86% accuracy to detect both potentially malignant lesions (erythroplakia and leukoplakia) and cancerous tissue in the form of squamous cell carcinoma.
The device contains a high pass filter, UV LEDs, a microcontroller, a cheek retractor and a phone holder. Mouthscope uses 2 machine learning models: resnet_v2, a Deep RNN and YOLOv5. The device allows both real-time self-diagnosis and cloud-based mass screening.
In order to generate a dataset for our machine learning model, we tested it with 24 patients (including 4 cancer patients). We found that there was a clear visual distinction between potentially malignant tissue and normal tissue, with malignant tissue having a darker color. Moreover, our AI models were able to detect this distinction.
By using a smartphone and classifying images using machine learning, Mouthscope eliminates the need for extensive infrastructure for mass oral cancer screening, making it more accessible.
Each year, the IRIS National Fair, a public-private partnership initiative funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), is held to promote and nurture science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research among young Indian innovators. This platform recognizes and rewards outstanding projects and provides a platform for young innovators to gain recognition at national and international STEM events.
This year, out of the 12 national participants, 3 OMOTEC projects won special and grand prizes:
IRIS Finalist Award – Aditya Mehta & Manav Kothari – ORAL Cancer Screening
National Geographic Empathy Award – Arnav Kejriwal & Hridank Garodia – Gait measurement for four-legged animals
Science STEM Champion Award – Stuti Bhatia & Alekha Malhotra – Inner Space Mapping for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease
IRIS National Fair is held every year in India for school students, who participate in 21 subject categories and till 2020, nearly 265 Indian students have already participated in ISEF and won about 160 prizes and honors during of this mega international event.
“Commitment to research and perseverance throughout the journey are key to the success of the student and the mentors. Our ongoing effort in research projects is to observe the impact of these on their communities and chosen areas of specialization. IRIS and ISEF are global platforms for the best and brightest young scientists and engineers around the world. OMOTEC believes that advances in science are essential to solving global challenges, and therefore supports and invests in the next generation of STEM thinkers to come up with ideas and solutions to bring about the change needed to improve the lives of people and society. planet “OMOTEC Co-founder Reetu says Jain.
Founded by Shekhar and Reetu Jain in 2016, OMOTEC offers a wide range of challenging, educational, STREAM and robotics programs integrating mechanics/electronics/programming/design and construction/research and innovation, including product design and development for young people minds ranging from pre-primary to grade 12 (K-12) and graduate school and engineering school students.