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David Barrow  BSc, PhD(Wales), FIET

Professor David Barrow BSc, PhD(Wales), FIET


School of Engineering

Available for postgraduate supervision


David Barrow currently researches compartmentalised, microscale constructs, using microfluidics for their formation, directed towards protocells, proto-tissue and artificial life. He is a key partner in the European Union funded Research consortium project entitled 'Artificial Cells with Distributed Cores to Decipher Protein Function' [ACDC] outlied at and where he is pioneering fused filament multimaterial 3D printiing to enable radically new forms of integrated multifunctional microfluidic systems.

Barrow is a multidisciplinary scientist, and Professor of microfluidics at Cardiff University.  He has researched a diversity of microfluidic based phenomena and devices, including chemical sensors, porous silicon, microacoustics, hybrid integration, micromolding, trasndermal microneedles, emulsion and digital microfluidics, chemicals separations, plasma etching, CFD, microwave sensors, laser micromachining and marine microanalysis systems. He was a founder of the UK metaFAB TSB open-access NanoCentre providing bespoke laser micromachining, MSTB Ltd. researching space microsystems, Protasis Corporation developing microdevices for chemicals separations, Q-CHIP Ltd. (merged with Midatech floted on AIM and NASDAQ listed) developing injectable microencapsulated pharmaceuticals, and the Cardiff Da Vinci Innovation Awards. 


























Book sections






Title People Sponsor Value Duration

AC-DC: Artificial Cells with Distributed Cores to Decipher Protein Function

Barrow DA EU-FET Proactive 572298Euros 01/01/19-31/12/22
Transfer of expertise and access to microengineering related facilities Barrow DA KTP and Modern Water 141346 15/05/2010 - 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 volumes Matthews I, Gallacher J, Gregory C, Hoogendorn B, Barrow D, Allendar, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 61381 01/05/2012 - 31/10/2013
Nanoscience Barrow DA Higher Education Funding Council for Wales 792000 01/04/2004 - 01/04/2006
MetaFAB Barrow DA Industrial Advisory Board 48609 03/04/2006 - 02/04/2009
MetaFAB Barrow DA DTI 359999 03/04/2006 - 02/04/2009
MetaFAB Barrow DA Welsh Development Agency 400001 03/04/2006 - 02/04/2009
Q-chip phase 1 marketing Barrow DA Welsh Development Agency 2920 13/02/2003 - 13/05/2003
Q-CHIP technology evaluation and exploitation roadmap Barrow DA Education and Learning Wales 14862 26/08/2002 - 31/12/2002
Micro nano education and training consortium (MNTec) Barrow DA, Mr GJ Sparey-Taylor, Tasker PJ Welsh Development Agency 306000 01/04/2005 - 31/03/2006
Mass-Manufacturing of Fluoropolymer Microreactors for chemical synthesis Prof DA Barrow Department of Trade & Industry 48174 01/05/2002 - 30/10/2002
Micro separations for the enhanced separation and detection of small molecules Prof DA Barrow GlaxoSmithKline 45300 01/01/2001 - 31/12/2003
Towards highly advanced membrane emulsification systems (THAMES) Prof DA Barrow Commission of European Communities 175315 01/01/2002 - 31/12/2004
Refurbishment of nanofabrication clean room Prof DA Barrow, (with PHYSX) Royal Society 122433 01/04/2002 - 01/11/2002
MNT Academy II Prof DA Barrow, Dr RM Perks National Assembly for Wales (KEF) 413346 01/08/2006 - 31/12/2007
New Hydrogen storage materials - Investigations through structural and electrical characterisation Porch A, Barrow D STFC 26000 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2015
Laser and microfluidic manufacture of novel bio-diagnostic platforms Barrow D Ser Cymru NRN AEM Swansea 90800 01/10/2014 - 30/09/2017
On line industrial water quality analysis system for rapid and accurate detection of pathogens AQUALITY Barrow D European Commission FP7 209757 01/12/2011 - 30/11/2013
Virtual design for microfluidic encapsulation process Barrow D, Jefferson A, Kerfriden P, Phillips T (MATHS) Ser Cymru NRN Swansea AEM 150000 01/01/2015 - 30/06/2018
ECO-Laserfact-EC)-efficient LASER technology FACTories of the future Bigot S, Setchi RM, Brousseau E, Petkov P, Barrow D European Commission 123091 01/05/2012 - 30/04/2015


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

Honours and awards

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)

Professional memberships

2014  Elected Fellow of the Institute for Engineering Technology


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

Academic positions

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


I have researched a very wide diversity of subject matter relating to a diversity of microfluidic based phenomena and devices, including chemical sensors, silicon porous, 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.