Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
David Barrow  BSc, PhD(Wales), FIET

Yr Athro David Barrow BSc, PhD(Wales), FIET


Yr Ysgol Peirianneg

Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


David Barrow became Professorial Fellow in Microsystems and Nanotechnology with a focus on multiphase microfluidics at Cardiff University School of Engineering in 2000. Using his previous wide breadth of experience, his current research is more narrowly focused on the mass-production of nuclear fusion targets, but with additional projects on microneedle interfaces with the human body and the microencapsulation of stem cells for their controlled differentiation. He is currently founder director of the TSB NanoCentre, metaFAB. Previously, he has engaged in multiple careers as engineer, scientist, artist, designer and entrepreneur. Professor Barrow is a strong supporter of the UK governments MicroNanoTechnology programme, speaking at industry events, both in the UK [e.g. NanoForum; MMLive] and overseas [Japan, NanoTech; DTI Missions e.g. Microfluidics to Germany] and is widely regarded as an excellent microengineering ambassador. He currently focuses his impact as a member of the NanoKTN Advisory Board and EPSRC electoral college. Professor Barrow has produced 68 papers, patents and company reports on diverse subjects ranging from sustainability, microreaction engineering, microfluidics, materials science, space biological engineering, and others. Of his sixteen disclosures and fourteen patents filed since 1999 seven are still both awarded as full PCT or US patents by the assignee companies and contributes importantly to their patent portfolios. Professor Barrow was a co-founder of Protasis Corporation (www.protasis.com) in 1999 and Q-Chip Ltd. (www.q-chip.com) in 2003 as commercialisation vehicles for microfluidic technologies in separations and microencapsulation respectively. He is currently Co-Chair of the Q-Chip Scientific Advisory Board.

Professor Barrow’s research interests were widely focused on the application of microfluidics technology for sustainable production processes. He uses deep ultraviolet 157nm laser micromachining for prototyping lab-on-a-chip structures and devices used in chemical analysis and synthesis. In 2006, as an industrial interface to these activities, he founded metaFAB as a UK TSB industrial open-access, knowledge transfer, micronanotechnology centre based on technology convergence. He also established the world unique Extreme Laser Facility. This accommodates an industrial hybrid 157nm/150fs laser tool designed for Lab-on-a-Chip microfluidic, biochip and photonic device research development and prototyping. As part of metaFAB’s training mission he has uniquely contributed to MicroNanoTechnology education through the formation and directorship of the first MNT Academy for apprentice level training. MNT Academy has trained 57 institutional and 171 industrial staff and developed the first ever, SEMTA-certified, apprentice-level training modules in MNT. Professor Barrow has recently (2008-9) chaired industrial conferences on Flow Microchemistry, Laser Micromachining and Nanotechnology Basics for the New Engineering Foundation.

In 1995, he returned to academe from industry, and with EPSRC support, was appointed as Clean Technology Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. He established the Laboratory for Applied Microsystems at Cardiff University as a centre of expertise on the bioscience orientation of microsystems technology with a focus on sensing for precision farming. His wide-ranging research portfolio then included fundamental investigations on: (A) applications (e.g. precision farming, space biology, drug discovery); (B) base materials (e.g. porous silicon); (C) processes (e.g. plasma etching); (D) devices (e.g. ultrasonic centrifuge, separations chips), and (E) integrated microinstrumentation systems (e.g. using mixed micro-fluidic/electronic motherboards).

Professor Barrow obtained a first class honours degree in biological sciences and his PhD in ecological sciences at the University of Wales Cardiff. After working as an artist in studio ceramics for eight years he returned to academic study, initially researching micromachined neurobiochips and later the development of chemical sensors for cancer therapeutics, haematological diagnostics and organ transplant therapy. He co-founded MSTB Ltd. in 1992, consulting to the European Space Agency and worked on chemical microsystems for space bioscience and bioregenerative life support systems. Professor Barrow is also an international expert on bumble bees (PhD) and an accomplished and exhibited ceramicist.

Health, Technology and the Digital World


























Book sections






Transfer of expertise and access to microengineering related facilitiesBarrow DAKTP and Modern Water14134615/05/2010 - 14/05/2012
The development of a cheap and simple to use self-administrable micro-needle patch device for population-wide sampling of small blood volumesMatthews I, Gallacher J, Gregory C, Hoogendorn B, Barrow D, Allendar,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation6138101/05/2012 - 31/10/2013
NanoscienceBarrow DAHigher Education Funding Council for Wales79200001/04/2004 - 01/04/2006
MetaFABBarrow DAIndustrial Advisory Board4860903/04/2006 - 02/04/2009
MetaFABBarrow DADTI 35999903/04/2006 - 02/04/2009
MetaFABBarrow DAWelsh Development Agency 40000103/04/2006 - 02/04/2009
Q-chip phase 1 marketingBarrow DAWelsh Development Agency 292013/02/2003 - 13/05/2003
Q-CHIP technology evaluation and exploitation roadmapBarrow DAEducation and Learning Wales 1486226/08/2002 - 31/12/2002
Micro nano education and training consortium (MNTec)Barrow DA, Mr GJ Sparey-Taylor, Tasker PJWelsh Development Agency 30600001/04/2005 - 31/03/2006
Mass-Manufacturing of Fluoropolymer Microreactors for chemical synthesisProf DA BarrowDepartment of Trade & Industry 4817401/05/2002 - 30/10/2002
Micro separations for the enhanced separation and detection of small moleculesProf DA BarrowGlaxoSmithKline 4530001/01/2001 - 31/12/2003
Towards highly advanced membrane emulsification systems (THAMES)Prof DA BarrowCommission of European Communities 17531501/01/2002 - 31/12/2004
Refurbishment of nanofabrication clean roomProf DA Barrow, (with PHYSX)Royal Society 12243301/04/2002 - 01/11/2002
MNT Academy IIProf DA Barrow, Dr RM PerksNational Assembly for Wales (KEF) 41334601/08/2006 - 31/12/2007
New Hydrogen storage materials - Investigations through structural and electrical characterisationPorch A, Barrow DSTFC2600001/10/2012 - 30/09/2015
Laser and microfluidic manufacture of novel bio-diagnostic platformsBarrow DSer Cymru NRN AEM Swansea9080001/10/2014 - 30/09/2017
On line industrial water quality analysis system for rapid and accurate detection of pathogens AQUALITYBarrow DEuropean Commission FP720975701/12/2011 - 30/11/2013
Virtual design for microfluidic encapsulation processBarrow D, Jefferson A, Kerfriden P, Phillips T (MATHS)Ser Cymru NRN Swansea AEM15000001/01/2015 - 30/06/2018
ECO-Laserfact-EC)-efficient LASER technology FACTories of the futureBigot S, Setchi RM, Brousseau E, Petkov P, Barrow DEuropean Commission12309101/05/2012 - 30/04/2015

Supervised Students

Microwave Resonators For Highly Sensitive Compositional Analysis Of Solvents In Microcapillary SystemsMASOOD AdnanGraduatePhD
Microfluidic Devices To Facilitate In-Flow Medium Exchange, and Tuneable Size-Based Sorting of MicrospheresMORGAN Alex John LewisGraduatePhD
Microengineered Reactors and Multiphase ChemistryAHMED BatoulGraduatePhD
Microfabricated Sample Preparation SystemsLEWIS CarolineGraduatePhD
Synthetic biology - Autonomous protocellsBAXANI Divesh KamalCurrentPhD
An Encoded Microwell array For Mulit-Image Analysis Of Cells.SAYERS Edward JohnGraduatePhD
The Application of Microfluidics To Continuous Water Toxicity MonitoringMELE EmanueleThesis SubmittedMPhil
Use of microwave technologies in the detection of pathogenic bacteriaHAMZAH Hayder Miri HamzahCurrentPhD
A Novel, Planar, Microfluidiic Junction for Multiphase Flow, Exemplified Through The Production Of Fusion Energy Targets, Encapsulated Mouse Nueron Stem Cells And Multi-Compartmental CapsulesLI JinThesis SubmittedPhD
Simultaneous Structrual and Dielectric measurement of Ammonia Storage MaterialsHARTLEY JonThesis SubmittedPhD
Microstructured Silicon for Use in Drug DiscoverySHAPLEY Julian Douglas LlewellynGraduatePhD
The Manufacture Of A Prototype Laser Machined Chromatographic Separations ColumnSYKES NeilGraduateMPhil
Microfabricated Nuclear Fusion Energy TargetsINOUE Nicholas TatsunosukeCurrentPhD
Design, Fabrication and Evaluation of a Microfluidic Molecular Imprinted Affinity Chromatography DeviceCASTELL Oliver KieranGraduatePhD


David Barrow's diverse research porfolio providses a reservoir of new avenues for both individual 3rd year and Group 4th year research projects, ranging from nuclear fusion targets, transdermal microneedles, acoustric trapping and microencapsulated pharmaceuticals.


Education/ Qualifications

1972-1974       National Diploma in Electronic Engineering, N. Glos. Tech. College.

1975-1979       Cardiff University BSc (Hons.) 1st. Class, Natural Sciences (Zoology)

1979-1983      PhD:Resource Partitioning in Bombus species(Cardiff University); Nominated for the Huxley Award, Royal Zoological Society of London.

1995-2000      RAEng/EPSRC Senior Clean Technology Fellow on Precision Farming and Process Industries

2000-2005      Cardiuff Uiverrsity, Proferssorial Fellow

2005-2021      Cardiff Uiverrsity ,Proferssor Microfluidic Systems

Anrhydeddau a dyfarniadau

Esteem Summary·      

  • Researched and published on a wide diversity of subject fields applied to microfabrication, sensors & microfluidics, including: miniaturised instrumentation systems, organ transplant therapy, environmental monitoring, protocell formation, fusion energy targets, stem cell encapsulation, microwave sensors, cell-culture, chromatography, microneedles, etc.·       Currently researches multiphase microfluidics applied to fusion energy and protocell formation·      
  • Author of 81 journal papers, patents and book chapters; Founded 4 microtech. companies ·      
  • Raised grant income of >£9.6 M from 13 funding bodies; trained 18 post-doctoral staff.·      
  • Supervisor of 28 PhD students; 27 graduated with 100% successful completion in 4 yrs·      
  • Examined 15 PhD theses. External examiner, Canterbury University (NZ), Madras University (I), National Science Foundation (USA) Dutch Government (NL),
  • Flew on Team Ultrasound, 6th ESA Microgravity zero-g Parabolic Flight Campaign,
  • Technical Consultant to ESA, Waters Corp., Thermofischer UK Ltd., Gyrus Medical Ltd., Daimler-Benz Aerospace, GSK Ltd. Modern Water Ltd., Q-Chip Ltd., Xtec Ltd.,·      
  • Involved in 7 European Projects; work founded the ESA Advanced Sensor Initiative·     
  •  EPSRC College member (since 2001); reviewed many grant proposals & sat on many committees including round tables, focus groups, follow-on panels, selection panels, etc.·      
  • Elected to Cardiff University Senate; selection panel for 26 Chairs
  • Advisory Board member TSB NanoKTN, Q-Chip Ltd. 
  • Invited member BBSRC Regenerative Biology and Stem Cell Working Group
  • Founded Cardiff University Da Vinci Innovation Awards (2014-19)
  • RAEng Reviewer and ASssessmernt Panel member for Leaders in Innovation Scheme (2018-2021)

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

2012National Science Foundation (USA) Examiner
2012Member, EPSRC Engineering Prioritization Panel
2011EPSRC Fellowships Panel
2011KTP Technical Consultant to Modern Water Ltd. on microinstrumentation
2011Member, EPSRC Career Accelaration and Leadships Selection Panel
2010Royal Society Industry Fellowships Examination
2010Examiner, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India
2010Member, EPSRC expert panel: Materials & Medical Engineering
2010Co-Chair, Q-Chip Ltd. Scientific Advisory Board
2010Elected, Fellow of the Institute for Engineering & Technology
2009Member, EPSRC expert panel: Follow-on Fund
2009Technical consultant, ThermoFisher Ltd
2008Member, NanoKTN Advisory Board
2008Chair, Chemistry Innovation KTN Conference on Flow Chemistry
2008Technical consultant, GSK Ltd
2008Member, EPSRC expert panel: Follow-on Fund
2007Chair, AILU Summer Conference on Microprocessing with Lasers
2007Chair, EPSRC panel Ultrasonics
2006Founder director TSB metaFAB Nanocentre
2004Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, Q-Chip Ltd
2004Member, DTI Global Watch Microfluidics Mission to Germany
2004Chief Scientific Officer , Q-Chip Ltd
2004Member, Advisory Panel of the IEE Prof. Microsystems Network
2003Inventor & Co-founder Q-Chip Ltd
2003Session Chair, World Congr. Med. Phys. & Biomed. Eng. Australia
2002Reviewer Dutch and New Zealand Government for MST developments
2001Technical consultant, Glaxo Wellcome Ltd
2001Member Toshiba Fellowships Committee
2001Elected member of EPSRC electoral college
2001Chair, Cardiff Centre for Multidisciplinary Microtechnology
2001Member, EPSRC expert panel: High Throughput Technologies
2000Technical consultant, Waters Corporation
2000Inventor & co-founding director, Protasis Corporation USA
2000Awarded, Cardiff University Professorship in Microsystems
1999Member, Internat. Org. Comm. Transducers 99, Tokyo
1999Member, EPSRC Round Table on Microsystems
1999Member, EPSRC Expert panel on Microsystems Integration
1999Honory member, Faraday Northwest Microsystems Consortium
1998Member, Internat. Org. Comm., Eurosensors ’98, Southampton, UK
1998Member, EPSRC Round Table, Engineering Challenges for 21st Century
1998Member, DTI-EPSRC Foresight Laboratory-on-a-Chip consortium
1997Member, International Organising Committee Eurosensors ’97 Warsaw
1997Executive member, UK Microengineering Common Interest Group
1997Technical consultant, Daimler Benz Aerospace
1997Board Member NEXIS IV (EU Network on Multifunctional Microsystems)
1996Member, COSPAR Scientific Commission F: Space Life Sciences
1996Internat. Organ. Comm. & Sess. Chair, Eurosensors ’96 Stockholm
1996Team Ultrasound, 6th ESA Microgravity zero-g Flight Campaign
1996Board member, LIGA Club, Daresbury Laboratory, UK
1995Awarded, RAEng Clean Technology Senior Fellowship
1992Co-founding director, MSTB Ltd
1990Technical consultant, Gyrus Medical Ltd

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

Professional History

1974-1975      Aviation Electronics Test Engineer, Smith Industries, Cheltehnham

1983-1991       Founder Practitioner, ceramics enterprise (full-time)

1992-2005       Co-founder & Director, MSTB Ltd.

1995-2000       RAEng-EPSRC Clean technology Senior Fellow, Cardiff University

2000-2005       Professorial Fellow, Cardiff University

2005-               Professor of Microfluidics, Cardiff University

2006-2011       Founder & Director, TSB Industry Open Access NanoCentre (MNT Network)

2000-2003       Co-founder & Director of Microtechnology Development, Protasis Corporation, USA.

2003-2005       Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Q-Chip Ltd

2011-               Co-founder & Director, Nanosterics Ltd.

2011                Elected Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology

2014                Innovation Professor, Cardiff School of Engineering

Meysydd goruchwyliaeth

I have researched a very wide diversity of subject matter relating to a diversity of microfluidic based phenomena and devices, including chemical sensors, porous silicon, microacoustics, hybrid integration, micromolding, emulsion and digital microfluidics, chemicals separations, plasma etching, CFD, microwave sensors, laser micromachining and marine microanalysis systems.

Now, I am amalgamagting this knowledge in a, more-or-less singular pursuite, that being towards creating artificial life, enabled using droplet microfluidics, and working with experts in membrane physics and (bio)chemistry I am interested in supervising new PhD or masters students in this field.