Graduate winners Craig Hashi, 24, and YiQian Zhu, 31, have been recognized for their invention of a tissue-engineered vascular graft. Their research shows that they can create small bioengineered blood vessels. Knowing that grafts from a patient's body and synthetic grafts can have their limitations, the team experimented with a new kind of graft. Using a polymer, they create long, thin strands which they form into a thin mat. Then, they seed the mat with bone marrow stem cells and allow them to culture. The mat is manipulated into a tube shape which can be implanted as a vascular graft. Once implanted, the polymer dissolves and leaves a fully-functioning blood vessel. Chances of rejection are greatly reduced because the patient's own cells could be used to create the graft. Hashi, originally from Torrance, California, received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA and is currently working on his Ph.D. in bioengineering at Berkeley. Zhu graduated from Fudan University Medical School in China and is also in Berkeley's Ph.D. bioengineering program.
Fan Yang, 18, is the undergraduate winner for her work with anti-adherent compounds for contact lenses. Seventy million people around the world wear contact lenses and contracting lens-induced infections is not uncommon. Yang's goal is to prevent infection-causing bacteria from adhering to contac
Contact: Rini Paiva
National Inventors Hall of Fame