Racquela Richard ’11 presents at Biomedical Engineering Society
Researchers have long-studied the medicinal qualities of cranberries, and Bay Path College senior Racquela Richard can now be counted among them. This past summer, Richard, a biology major, received a coveted National Science Foundation internship with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, MA, where she worked side-by-side with scientists in the lab. When given the opportunity to perform her research experiment, Richard explored the therapeutic benefits of cranberry juice, which is often suggested to prevent urinary tract infections (UTI). Richard, along with her WPI colleagues, will present their findings during this year’s Biomedical Engineering Society’s (BMES) Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas from October 7 to 9.
In her presentation, Cranberry Juice Does Not Alter Bacterial Growth but May Inhibit Bacterial Adhesion, Richard examines the biological process in which cranberry juice may inhibit UTIs. She, along with her team from WPI, hypothesized that consuming cranberry juice does not kill bacteria, but it prevents E. coli from adhering to cells, which line the urinary tract. By using cranberry juice cocktail and a placebo, Richard determined that a cranberry juice cocktail does not destroy the UTI-causing E. coli bacteria. However, previous clinical research proposes that cranberry juice cocktail drinks contain anti-adhesive properties, which prevent E.coli from attaching to the urinary tract cells. In the future, Richard and her colleagues will continue their investigation to determine the factors that inhibit bacterial adhesion.
The three-day conference annually welcomes leaders and decision-makers in research, design, and applications of medical technology. More than 2,200 participants from over 20 countries attend the event, and represent a wide variety of practicing engineers from biomedical, electrical, chemical, mechanical, and other engineering fields, as well as medical specialists.
For more information on BMES Annual Meeting, visit http://www.bmes.org/aws/BMES/pt/sp/home_page.