Dylan’s Discovery: student invents revolutionary Lyme disease early-detection technology

Stella Celentano | Raider Staff

What sixteen year old invented a revolutionary medical device that outperforms other devices created by brilliant, fully educated adults? That would be senior Dylan Casey. At only seventeen, his accomplishments at now age seventeen, surpass every standard of high school students.

Founder of Lyme Force Dylan Casey. Photo courtesy of Dylan Casey.

Casey created his Lyme disease detecting device after becoming aware of the devastating effect the disease has on our community. “I experienced family, teachers, even friends in school struggle with the disease on a daily basis, and I was inspired to take action to help them,” Casey said.

The device directly detects the bacterial proteins of Lyme disease using nanoparticles and other proteins. This test helps Lyme disease patients detect the disease in their system earlier than the current methods of detection available. Late detection is what makes Lyme disease so dangerous.

Casey’s six months of hard work researching Lyme disease and prototyping and manufacturing his device paid off when conducting test trials on his first prototypes. “I knew I had done something amazing when I realized that my test devices were not only matching but outperforming the expensive laboratory tests that are currently available, despite the fact that my test was compact, much less expensive to produce, and produced results much quicker.” Like any entrepreneur, Casey emphasized the cyclical nature of the process.

“Innovation is an iterative process; there is always room for me to continuously improve it in the future,” he said.

After Casey invented this device, his first goal was to distribute his product throughout the nation. To do this, he formed a company called Lyme Force, LLC, which works with a testing laboratory and manufacturer in California. As Casey expands Lyme Force and raises more capital funding, he hopes to eventually hire employees.

Casey volunteers at the HopeForLyme music festival in October 2017, creating posters to promote the event. Sales from event merchandise raised money for patient care and Lyme disease research.

Casey’s intentions for his device and his company are what make him so admirable. “I am a firm believer that any research finding or invention is not a true innovation unless it is commercialized and brought to the hands of those who it intends to impact,” he said.

Casey attends the prestigious Loudoun Academy of Science as well as going to LCHS. “AOS has helped me develop the framework of thinking to be able to conduct scientific research. It has helped me change from a kid who was just passionate about science to one who is able to venture in to the unknown and tackle real problems facing our society through scientific research.”

Along with his research, Casey is also very involved with the business and entrepreneurship club, DECA. He is the president of Loudoun County High Schools DECA chapter as well as Loudoun’s district president. He pitched Lyme Force in DECA’s Innovation Plan competition and won first place throughout Virginia. At DECA’s international competition, Casey won fourth place, with Lyme Force, out of 180 teams from around the world.

Casey’s passion is propelling him into the future. He intends to pursue Lyme Force throughout college and leverage whatever entrepreneurial development and laboratory resources he can find while he is there.

As part of his patent application, Dylan Casey submitted several technical drawings of his device. The device helps patients detect Lyme disease earlier than previously possible. Drawing courtesy of Dylan Casey.

After college, he would like to further benefit our society as much as possible by pursuing health care entrepreneurship. Casey’s dream would be to join the men and women of the Forbes 30 under 30 Healthcare list. “I want to be at the forefront of leaders who redefine global health through positive disruption, innovation, and entrepreneurship.”