Personal profile


Professor Ian Johnston is Head of the Microfluidics & Microengineering Research Group and Director of the Wolfson Centre for Biodetection & Instrumentation Research at the University of Hertfordshire.

Providing multidisciplinary research leadership for application of scientific and applied engineering principles to healthcare related challenges. Spanning a range of application areas including microfluidic biological sample processing and detection technologies, antimicrobial nanomaterials for antiviral and antibacterial applications, bioaerosol collection and identification for the protection of plant, animal and human health.

His research focuses on academic and industrial experimental research into microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices and integrated systems for both laboratory prototype and in-field Biodetection applications. Areas of expertise include droplet microfluidics, EWOD, microfluidic magnetic separation, biological sample processing and microfluidic flow control including micropumping and micromixing. He obtained his PhD in microfluidic systems for erythrocyte investigation from the University of Hertfordshire after obtaining an Honours degree in Physics from the University of Leeds in 1994, and has over 25 years of experience in applied microfluidic systems technology.

He is a member of the UK Aerosol Society and his team are central in delivery of the bioaerosol teaching as part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science.

Current biodetection R&D project application areas include biowarfare, food security, aquaculture and environmental monitoring, crop protection, woodland & plant biosecurity. Clients and collaborators include amonthst others, the UK MoD and the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (Porton Down), HMGCC, The Pirbright Institute, TTZ Bremerhaven,  Optisense Ltd.

In addition Ian is involved in the design and development of the research-informed taught module, Microengineering & Microtechnology, for the School of Engineering.

Personal Linkedin profile:

Microfluidics research:

Biodetection research:

Twitter: @UHMicrofluidics


Research interests

  • Microfluidics
  • Integrated Systems
  • BioMEMS
  • Biodetection
  • Droplet Microfluidics (EWOD)
  • Micropumps & Micromixing
  • Rapid Polymer Prototyping

Commercial and public engagement

  • Microfluidics Consultancy
  • Turn-Key Integrated Systems
  • Biodetection Systems

Teaching specialisms

  • Microfabrication
  • Microengineering
  • Microfluidics
  • System Integration
  • Bioaerosols


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