Students: Linxi (Poplar) Yang

Project: Machine Learning Cell Type Classification for Cancer Diagnosis

Poster: Vertical (PDF) | Horizontal (PDF)

Institution: Lehigh University

Major: Bioengineering

Advisor: Yaling Liu


Cell imaging and biophysical analysis have become crucial tools in the study of cancer detection and clinical treatment. Cell deformability and mechanical properties are important biomarkers for the detection of cancer cells. This study aims to use the deformability index (DI)- the ratio of the major axis to the minor axis- in a narrow constriction microfluidic channel to differentiate white blood cells (WBCs) from cancer cells (HCT-116). An automated imaging processing code analyzes the cell motion and plots the velocity change and DI of each cell which will be used to identify the cell type. This microfluidic study showed that the DI of HCT-116 cancer cells is higher than that of the WBCs. This finding provided a proof of concept for the future development of cancer diagnosis techniques.

Linxi (Poplar) Yang

About Linxi (Poplar) Yang

Poplar Yang, senior studying bioengineering, biomechanics and biomaterials at Lehigh University. Originally from Beijing, China, Poplar has been studying in the States since high school. She is currently doing research with Prof. Yaling Liu from Lehigh University on the topic of cell imaging cancer diagnosis techniques. Focused on culturing cancer cells and white blood cells and fabricating microfluidic devices, Poplar is actively exploring the use of machine learning in cell type classification by deformability and velocity in a high-throughput and high-speed setting. Outside of academic research, she is a music minor and enjoys playing the piano in her spare time.