Season 15 Innovators
With a dream to bring a positive change to his country Lebanon and the Arab world, Saeed embarked on his scientific journey during his early years by taking part in different scientific competitions with a focus on electronics.
Pursuing his passion for science, Saeed achieved a Masters’s in Biomedical Engineering from the Lebanese University with an emphasis on Medical Physics and Medical Imaging and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Sorbonne University in France with a focus on Signal Processing.
While pursuing his postdoctoral research fellowship in Rennes, France, Saeed observed his close friend and colleague Azzam with great enthusiasm as he participated in season 12 of Stars of Science. This experience sparked a huge interest in Saeed to become part of the show in the future.
In pursuit of his goal, Saeed employed a concept he developed during his analysis of epileptic patients at the Paris Brain Institute. Utilizing his expertise as a biomedical engineer, he combined programming, electronics, chemistry and biology to create a sensor capable of detecting molecules secreted by patients prior to an epileptic seizure. This innovative concept won him the top prize at the Paris Brain Institute’s invention contest in France. Saeed’s mind is set on maintaining the Arab roots of his idea and introduce it first to the Arab world.
About the Project
Research into epilepsy was always concerned with brain activity, but during his research, Saeed stumbled upon a compound called Menthone that changed everything. This compound is detected by the researcher in various saliva and breath samples from epileptic patients before they had seizures.
Building on this knowledge, Saeed created an electronic nose to detect Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), including Menthone, through the arm. The invention is inspired by dogs, who can smell these compounds and warn their humans before an episode. Mimicking this canid olfactory pedigree, the electronic nose and developed analyzer can detect an epileptic seizure episode scores of minutes earlier and notify the wearer. This will help epilepsy patients address the sudden onset of the seemingly random episodes, which can place them in embarrassing or even dangerous situations, such as his epileptic cousin, who had a dangerous episode behind the wheel of his car, endangering his life.
Epileptic patients will have advance notice well before their episodes, giving them or their caregivers time to eliminate risk or help them take their medication that can drastically reduce the episode’s intensity.
At the time there are no effective means to detect epileptic episodes ahead, the only way to do so has been to record Electroencephalography (EEG) signals by using electrodes attached to a patient’s head, and this can only detect a seizure 10 seconds before its occurrence.
Saeed’s electric nose device focuses on minimizing the risks associated with epilepsy episodes before they occur. Catering for caregivers, hospitals, and medical institutions, the big opportunity stands for the patients. This innovative device can detect an episode up to an hour before its onset, providing sufficient time for necessary precautions.
Saeed aims to introduce his invention in his home country Lebanon and the wider Arab region, aiming to one day establish a startup that can provide opportunities for young innovators, economic support, and drive research. He aspires to become an innovation ambassador of his country and spread impactful innovations that save lives in the region and globally.