Dr. Colin Dalton, PhD, P.Eng
Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Software Engineering
Hotchkiss Brain Institute
Office: +1 (403) 210-8464
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I'm looking for...
Interested in exploring research partnerships with fellow academics and industry partners in the area of micro/nano fabrication technologies applied to biomedical engineering problems.
Professional Engineer (P.Eng), APEGA,
Senior Member, IEEE,
B.Eng (Hons) Electronic Engineering, University of Wales, 1994
M.Sc. Electronic Engineering, University of Wales, 1998
Ph.D. Electronic Engineering, University of Wales, 2002
Areas of Research
My interests are microfluidics, electrokinetics, Lab on a chip, micro/nano fabrication, MEMS, bioMEMS, microneedles, micro-electrode arrays, brain machine interfaces, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship
I am the Scientific Director of the University of Calgary's microfabrication cleanroom facility, the Microsystems Hub. The facility aids researchers and local industry with their micro/nano fabrication requirements.
Participation in university strategic initiatives
|Course number||Course title||Semester|
|ENGG 503 & 504||Enterprenurial Capstone||Fall 2022 and Winter 2023|
|ENEL 616||Micro/Nano System Design Fabrication and Integration||Winter 2021, 2022, 2023|
|ENCM 467||Digital Electronic Circuits||Fall 2019, 2020, 2021|
|ENEL 619.50||Special Problems (Mcr/NanoSysDsgnFbrctn&Intgrtn)||Winter 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020|
|ENEL 619.65||Special Problems (EleckinMicpumpThr&App)||Spring 2013|
|BMEN 619.28||Special Problems (Multi electrode arrays)||Spring 2020|
|ENEL 619,48||Microsystems Technologies||Winter 2005, 2006, 2007|
Needle-free transdermal delivery systems have long been a goal in biomedical engineering research, to overcome injection pain, increase uptake of pharmaceuticals, and reduce the requirement for trained medical personnel to administer injections. Microneedles create microchannels that pierce the hydrophobic skin barrier and enable transdermal routes for drugs to be transported. Microneedles minimize routes of infection, as the microscale holes rapidly heal, can increase drug efficacy, and overcome many of the issues associated with needle phobia.
All brain functions ranging from simple reflexes to complex motor patterns, learning, memory, and cognition, rely upon network interactions between large neuronal ensembles. Disruption of these networks, either through trauma, stroke, epilepsy, synaptic perturbation, or neurodegenerative diseases (for example, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, etc.), can render the brain dysfunctional. My collaborative research in this area with the Hitchkiss Brain Institute has made new nano-featured multi electrode arrays for better cultured neuron experiments, 3D microelectrodes for improved signal to noise recording from brain slices and in animal models. This work led to spin out company Neuraura.
Electrokinetics is utilizing electric fields in microfluidic devices to move fluids. My focus currently is on the AC Electrothermal (ACET) effect, which induces microflows when joule heating of the solution produces non-uniform electric fields and temperature gradients in the fluids. This technique can work with high conductivity fluids, like biofluids, and my lab is investigating the underlying theory through simulations, and also fabricating and testing new devices.
This is an industry linked project with local company Ecmius Biomedical (https://ecmius.com/), developing a manufacturing process for the cannulae (tubes) that are used in the ECMO life support system to remove blood from the body and re-oxygenate it before returning it to the circulatory system.
- Outstanding Research Impact Award, Schulich School of Engineering. 2023
- Nominated by SSE Dean, Outstanding Mentor Summit Award , APEGA. 2022
- Mentoring Excellence Award, Schulich School of Engineering. 2021
- Outstanding Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program Supervisor of the Year, Biomedical Engineering Program. 2020
- Early Research Excellence Award, Schulich School of Engineering. 2020
- Trusted Reviewer Status, Institute of Physics. 2020
- Finalist, Foundation Award Alberta Science and Technology Leadership, ASTech Foundation. 2019
- Teaching Achievement, Schulich School of Engineering. 2019
- Outstanding Laboratory Director, Biomedical Engineering Students Society. 2019
- Winner, TENET Innovation to Commercialization (i2c) competition, University of Calgary. 2018
- Graduate, First cohort, Creative Destructions Labs:Rockies, Creative Destruction Labs Program. 2018
- CMC Success Story, CMC Microsystems. 2018
- Finalist, Falling Walls Venture of the Year, Falling Walls Foundation. 2018
- Top 20 Most Highly cited paper, Journal Biomicrofludics. 2015
- Outstanding Teaching Achievement, Schulich School of Engineering. 2014
- CMC Success Story, CMC Microsystems. 2009
In the News
- UCalgary researchers aim to stop or prevent epileptic seizures. uToday, University of Calgary campus wide. (2021)
- Tiny 'YAHOO' sign highlights unique laser technology at University of Calgary. CTV Nightly News. (2019)
- Spin out company developed from University research. uToday, University of Calgary campus wide. (2018)
- Cleanrooms. CTV Nightly News. (2017)
- Brain Machine interfaces. CTV Nightly News. (2016)
- TENET i2c team wows judges with monitoring platform to measure brain activity. Schulich School of Engineering, Campus Wide. (2018)
Scientific Director, Microsystems Hub
Parex Innovation Fellow Allumnus
Co-Founder, Neuraura Biotech
Current Graduate Students:
Former Graduate students:
Former Post Doctoral Fellows:
Current Technical/Research Staff:
Former Technical/Research Staff:
Undergraduate student supervision: 53
A mixture of summer students, Thesis Students, Project Students and Capstone Students.
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