Image of Colin Dalton

Dr. Colin Dalton, PhD, P.Eng


Assistant Professor

Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Software Engineering

Associate Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Contact information

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 210-8464

For media enquiries, contact

Joe McFarland
Media Relations and Communications Specialist

Cell: +1.403.671.2710


I'm looking for...

Research partners

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,

Educational Background

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

Biomedical Engineering

My interests are microfluidics, electrokinetics, Lab on a chip, micro/nano fabrication, MEMS, bioMEMS, microneedles, micro-electrode arrays, brain machine interfaces, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship

Micro Nano Fabrication

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.


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


Microneedles for transdermal drug delivery

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.

Brain Machine Interfaces

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.

Cannulae Fabrication

This is an industry linked project with local company Ecmius Biomedical (, 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
  • 2021


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:

Thomas Lijnse

Kuri Martinez

Stirling Cenaiko

Kazim Haider

Isaac Calivillio

Anthony Demong

Joshua Feddema



Former Graduate students:

Pierre Wijdenes

Ali Syedah

Sara Pishgar

Ali Salari

Michael Purdy

Rumi Zhang

Atefeh Ghazavi

Bhagat Singh


Former Post Doctoral Fellows:

Ebenezer Owusu-Ansah

Rumi Zhang


Current Technical/Research Staff:

Dylan Finch

Ebenezer Owusu-Ansah

Louise Neeve


Former Technical/Research Staff:

Malcolm Haynes

Laude Bannerman-Akwei


Undergraduate student supervision: 53

A mixture of summer students, Thesis Students, Project Students and Capstone Students.