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Young Caltech engineers recognized for innovative work in disease diagnostic technologies
Date:3/9/2011

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Zheng was born and raised in Canton, China. He received his undergraduate degree with honors in electrical engineering from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and his master's degree in electrical engineering from Caltech in 2008. Zheng is a coauthor on 13 peer-reviewed journal publications. Driven by what he sees as a need in the market for low-cost diagnostic tools, he plans to further develop his biomedical products with the goal of starting his own medical device company.

The Caltech selection committee also acknowledged finalist Wendian "Leo" Shi for the invention of the "μCyto," a portable lab-on-a-chip system for determining white blood cell counts for point-of-care diagnostics. Shi will receive a $10,000 award made possible through the support of Caltech alumnus Michael Hunkapiller (PhD '74). Also an electrical engineering graduate student, Shi works in the lab of Yu-Chong Tai, professor of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

In his presentation, Shi described an innovative technology that provides a low-cost alternative to conventional blood counters. A five-part white blood cell (WBC) differential count is one of the most useful clinical tests performed in hospitals to directly evaluate how the immune system is functioning. Shi's low-cost, portable blood counter provides important diagnostic information for conditions such as leukemia, infections, allergies, and immunodeficiency, and can be used to monitor a patient's recovery during therapy.

Shi's technology is the first successful demonstration of a miniaturized blood counter with a complete WBC five-part differential, and it opens up new possibilities for providing basic medical care to people living in remote rural areas where medical diagnostic tools are not readily accessible. According to Shi, the system can be easily expanded to incorpo
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Contact: Deborah Williams-Hedges
debwms@caltech.edu
626-395-3227
California Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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