Lab on a chip

Lab on a Chip

Hull has been widely recognised as a pioneering leader in lab-on-a-chip since its inception in the 1990s and we have a wide range of academics from across the physical, chemical, engineering and life sciences actively pursuing research in this area.

The Challenge

Lab-on-a-chip devices allow precise handling of liquids at microscopic scales. Historically, we have explored flow synthesis and simple separations (electrophoresis), we continue to study clinical diagnostics (protein assays, DNA processing), while more recent trends include biomedical, materials and environmental sciences. 

Our research currently focuses on the study of fundamental biomedical sciences (tissue/organ-on-chip, spheroids-on-chip, PhD cluster on Advanced Wound Care), clinical diagnostics (LungCARD, ViBrANT, PhD cluster on Biomarkers), environmental on-site analysis (Sullied Sediments, PhD cluster on Water Sensing) as well as material chemistry (assembling smart materials through droplet microfluidics) and the on-chip production of radiopharmaceuticals for PET imaging.

The Approach

Academic researchers in Hull apply lab-on-a-chip technology for environmental analysis on-site, for clinical diagnostics at the point-of-care and for the synthesis of smart materials. We work in interdisciplinary teams, often in partnership with the NHS or industry including major firms such as bioMérieux, Siemens and Randox.

Our newly refurbished lab-on-a-chip fabrication facility offers design and fabrication of microfluidic devices from glass, rigid polymers and elastomers as well as paper microfluidic devices to researchers across the University and beyond.

Lab on a Chip


We use lab on a chip for

  • chemical synthesis, flow chemistry and catalysis (e.g. for PET radiopharmaceuticals)
  • smart materials (droplets, nanoparticles, microgels)
  • formulation of emulsions with precise control
  • shrinking down analytical sciences (point-of-care, in-the-field)
  • fundamental biomedical studies (organ-on-chip)


Blood cells

LungCARD RISE (H2020)

Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide. This project has developed and demonstrated the LungCARD system to capture circulating tumour cells from blood samples and detect mutations. This new blood test has proven to be faster, cost-effective and human error-free.


Sullied Sediments

Chemicals found in household products, including toothpaste, soaps and common drugs are threatening Britain's waterways by accumulating in rivers and canals.This Europe-wide project aims to offer solutions to improve the removal of the chemicals from waste water treatment plants, before they enter the waterways.

Lab on a chip


We want to contribute to the emerging problem in infectious diseases and prevent the “antibiotic apocalypse” – when even an ear infection can be fatal. The focus of ViBrANT is on the adhesion of pathogens to human cells, an underexplored niche that can lead to new understanding, new diagnostics and devices and, eventually, new treatments.

View all projects

New technology to improve capability for clinical radiopharmaceutical production

MRC, SJ Archibald, N Pamme, Andy Beavis. Find out more.


(H2020), J Greenman. Find out more.

Sullied Sediments

(European Regional Development Fund, Interreg - North Sea Region), J Rotchell, W Mayes, M Lorch, N Pamme, A Iles et al. Find out more.


(H2020), N Pamme, A Iles, CE Dyer. Find out more.

Lab-on-a-Chip based electrochemical sensing of ferritin

(Newton- Bhabha Fund with Dr Suman Singh from CSIR-CSIO (India), N Pamme, A Iles.

Pathogen Analysis for Point-of-Care

(Newton-Utafiti Fund with Dr J Gitaka at Mount Kenya University (Kenya)), N Pamme, A Iles.


PhD Clusters


Completed projects

Lab-on-a-Chip – Fundamentals and Applications of Chemical and Biological Microsystems

Our meeting will bring together researchers developing and applying microfluidic systems for chemical and biological applications from the UK and beyond.

Lab on a Chip


Outputs and publications

Mark D. Tarn, Mohammad M. N. Esfahani, Nuray Yavuzkanat Kızılyer, Pankaj Joshi, Nathaniel J. Brown, Nicole Pamme, David G. Jenkins, Stephen J. Archibald, Plastic scintillator-based microfluidic devices for miniaturized detection of PET radiopharmaceuticals, Chemistry – A European Journal,  2018, 24, 13749-13753.

Ruth Bower, Victoria L. Green, Elena Kuvshinova, Dmitriy Kuvshinov, Laszlo Karsai, Stephen T. Crank, Nicholas D. Stafford, John Greenman, Maintenance of head and neck tumor on-chip: gateway to personalized treatment?, Future Science OA, 2017, 3, FSO174.

Ali Q. Alorabi, Mark D. Tarn, Jenifer Gómez-Pastora, Eugenio Bringas, Inmaculada Ortiz, Vesselin N. Paunov, Nicole Pamme, On-chip polyelectrolyte coating onto magnetic droplets – towards continuous flow assembly of drug delivery capsules. Lab on a Chip, 2017, 17, 3785-3795.

Bongkot Ngamsom, Alma Truyts, Louis Fourie, Shavon Kumar, Mark D. Tarn, Alexander Iles, Klariska Moodley, Kevin J. Land, Nicole Pamme, A Microfluidic Device for Rapid Screening of E. coli O157:H7 Based on IFAST and ATP Bioluminescence Assay for Water Analysis, Chemistry – A European Journal, 2017, 23, 1-5.

Amy Dawson, Charlotte E. Dyer, J. Macfie, J. Davies, Laszlo Karsai, John Greenman, M. Jacobsen, A Microfluidic Chip Based Model for the Study of Full Thickness Human Intestinal Tissue Using Dual Flow, Biomicrofluidics, 2016, 10, 064101.

More publications.

Research Students

Vincent Nail

Development of clinical radiochemistry tools for dose-on-demand PET

Prof. Steve Archibald, Prof. Nicole Pamme

Pablo Rodriguez-Mateos

Lab on a Chip for Pathogen Analysis

Prof. Nicole Pamme, Dr Charlotte Dyer, Dr Alex Iles

Emily Pyne

Lab-on-a-chip platform for detection of early metastasis biomarkers

Dr Isabel Pires, Prof. Nicole Pamme

Bradley Doyle

Novel synthesis methods for the production of human circulating metabolites of natural products

Dr Huw Jones, Prof. Nicole Pamme

Kamil Talar

Wound-on-a-Chip – a new model for mechanistic wound healing and therapy development

Prof. Nicole Pamme, Prof. Matthew Hardman

Ben Filby

Monitoring and Manipulating wound microbiota using bacterial shape recognition

Prof. Vesco Paunov, Prof Matthew Hardman, Prof. Nicole Pamme

Samantha Richardson

Dip Stick-based Analysis for Environmental Pollution Monitoring

Prof. Mark Lorch, Prof. Nicole Pamme

Polly Sanders

Microfluidics and 3D Printing of Functional Composites

Dr Jia Min Chin, Prof. Nicole Pamme

Lydia Baldwin

Interrogating Interplay between Gut and Brain in a Lab-on-a-Chip Platform

Dr Charlotte E. Dyer, Prof. John Greenman, Prof. Nicole Pamme

Thomas Collins

Spheroids on-Chip

Dr Isabel Pires, Prof. Nicole Pamme

Beverly Andrews

Label-free Optical Biosensors for Real-Time Cell Imaging

Prof. Nicole Pamme, Dr Leigh Madden, Dr Ruchi Gupta

Nasr Alamrani

Label-free Optical Biosensors with Aptamer Recognition Elements

Prof. Gillian Greenway, Prof. Nicole Pamme, Dr Ruchi Gupta

Martin Gedsted Christensen

Personalised Medicine: a Lab-on-a-Chip Platform for the Maintenance and Real-Time Analysis of Patient Tissues

Prof. Nicole Pamme, Prof. John Greenman, Dr Charlotte E. Dyer, Dr Chris Cawthorne


Our research impacts the world. Come and join us.

Be part of a vibrant research community at the University of Hull.

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