Camryn Couvillion is a General Engineering major from Houston, Texas. She has a great love for the outdoors and many adventurous goals, like visiting national parks and skydiving. Her favorite part of research is the persistence it demands, as well as the sometimes surprising outcomes.
Camryn’s research was inspired by the work of Professor Michael Strano and postdoc Yuwen Zeng of MIT, who recently discovered a unique two-dimensional polymer. Camryn has a vision for this type of polymer: prosthesis. “Prosthetics are necessary substitutes for people that were born without or have lost a limb or limbs,” she says. “I would like to research the extent to which biology can be implemented into polymer blends– specifically, deriving an artificial skin from a blend of silicone, artificial sensory nerves, and artificial neurons.” This way, Camryn says, the user can have a “full range of motion and sensation” in their prosthetic, which would feel more like “an extension of their missing limb, not a substitution.” To Camryn, this would be beneficial for children, especially, since they so rapidly grow. “It is critical that growing children have the opportunity to stay active without the fear of negative side effects,” she explains. “These children would not only be able to run, but score the winning goal in their soccer game.”