image of Mark Burns

Mark A. Burns

T.C. Chang Professor of Engineering


[email protected]

(734) 764-4787


2045W2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

Primary Website

Burns Lab


University of Pennsylvania
PhD Chemical and Biochemical Engineering ’86
MS Chemical and Biochemical Engineering ’83

University of Notre Dame
BS Chemical Engineering ’81

Research Interests

Microfabricated Reaction/Separation Systems. Many chemical analysis systems require extensive measuring, mixing and separation/detection operations before data can be collected. Some of these tests, such as hospital tests for bacterial infections, would greatly benefit by an increased processing speed; all would benefit by a decrease in labor and materials costs. In recent years, a number of companies have integrated all the required steps for a particular test into a simple format (home pregnancy kits are a good example). Most of these formats, though, are far from robust and can usually only handle “yes/no” results.

About the Burns Research Group

The Burns Research Group is constructing miniaturized chemical analysis systems using silicon fabrication techniques. The devices consist of micron-scale reaction, separation, and detection systems connected by a series of micromachined channels. Samples are injected into these devices and then moved between components by a variety of techniques including surface tension control and hydrophobic/hydrophilic patches. Reaction chambers in these devices can be used for selective amplification or digestion of reactants. The products of these reactions can then be analyzed using separation techniques such as simple gel electrophoresis. Integration of all these steps produces a micron-scale device that can act as an intelligent sensor. Currently, the main focus is the analysis and sequencing of DNA although the techniques used can be applied to a variety of chemical analysis systems.


Professional Experience

University of Michigan
Chemical Engineering Department
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering, 2016 – 2017
Director of MCubed, 2014 – present
T.C. Chang Professor of Engineering, 2012
Chair, 2008-2017
Professor, 2002-present
Associate Professor, 1996-2002
Assistant Professor, 1990-1996

Becton Dickinson Research Center
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Department of Molecular Biology

Visiting Research Scientist, 1996 – 1997

North Carolina State University
Department of Chemical Engineering
Raleigh, North Carolina

Visiting Associate Professor, 1996-1997

University of Massachusetts
Department of Chemical Engineering
Amherst, Massachusetts

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, 1986 – 1989

Courses Taught

Undergraduate ChE Courses

ChE 341 Fluid Mechanics
ChE 343, Separation Processes
ChE 360, Chemical Eng. Lab
ChE 487, Chemical Process Design
ChE 496, Product Design and Development

Graduate Courses

ChE 517, Biochemical Engineering
ChE 518, Engineering Fundamentals in Biological Systems
ChE 542, Intermediate Transport Phenomena
ChE 617, Biochemical Tech. II
ChE 696, Special Topics

Other Courses

CBTP 504, Cellular Biotechnology


Fellow, 2018
American Institute of Chemical Engineers

AIChE Food Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Award, 2016
American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Fellow, 2013
National Academy of Inventors

College of Engineering Research Excellence Award, 2004
University of Michigan

College of Engineering Team Excellence Award (with David Burke and Carlos Mastrangelo), 1998
University of Michigan

Department of Chemical Engineering Outstanding Achievement Award, 2000
University of Michigan

Appointed to the Genome Study Section, 2000
National Institutes of Health

College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award, 2001
University of Michigan

Fellow, 2002
American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering


Recent Publications

Langelier SM, Livak-Dahl E, Manzo AJ, Johnson BN, Walter NG, and Burns MA, “Flexible Casting of Modular Self-aligning Microfluidic Assembly Blocks,” Lab on a Chip, 11 (9) 1679-1687 (2011).

Park J, Kerner A, Burns MA, and Lin XXN, “Microdroplet-Enabled Highly Parallel Co-Cultivation of Microbial Communities,” PLOS ONE, 6 (2) e17019 (2011).

Zeitoun RI, Goudie MJ, Zwier J, Mahawilli D, and Burns MA, “Active Control of Nanoliter Droplet Contents with Convective Concentration Gradients Across Permeable Walls, Lab on a Chip, 11 (23), 4022-4028 (2011).

Mosadegh B, Bersano-Begey T, Park JY, Burns MA, and Takayama S, “Next-Generation Integrated Microfluidic Circuits,” Lab on a Chip, 11 (17) 2813-2818 (2011).

Kinnunen P, Sinn I, McNaughton BH, Newton DW, Burns MA, and Kopelman R, “Monitoring the Growth and Drug Susceptibility of Individual Bacteria Using Asynchronous Magnetic Bead Rotation Sensors,” Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 26 (5), 2751-2755 (2011).

Sinn I, Kinnunen P, Albertson T, McNaughton BH, Newton DW, Burns MA, and Kopelman R, “Asynchronous Magnetic Bead Rotation (AMBR) Biosensor in Microfluidic Droplets for Rapid Bacterial Growth and Susceptibility Measurements,” Lab on a Chip, 11 (15) 2604-2611 (2011).

Slaney TR, Nie J, Hershey ND, Thwar PK, Linderman JJ, Burns MA, and Kennedy RT, “Push-Pull Perfusion Sampling with Segmented Flow for High Temporal and Spatial Resolution in Vivo Chemical Monitoring, Analytical chemistry,” 83 (13), 5207-5213 (2011).

Lewis TC, Henderson TA, Carpenter AR, Ramirez IA, McHenry CL, Goldsmith AM, Ren X, Mentz GB, Mukherjee B, Robins TG,  Joiner TA, Mohammad LS, Nguyen ER, Burns MA, Burke DT, and Hershenson MB, “Nasal Cytokine Responses to Natural Colds in Asthmatic Children,” Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 42 (12), 1734-1744 (2012).

Sinn I, Albertson T, Kinnunen P, Breslauer DN, McNaughton BH, Burns MA, and Kopelman R, “Asynchronous Magnetic Bead Rotation Microviscometer for Rapid, Sensitive, and Label-Free Studies of Bacterial Growth and Drug Sensitivity,” Analytical chemistry, 84 (12), 5250-5256 (2012).

Livak-Dahl E, Lee J and Burns MA, “Nanoliter Droplet Viscometer with Additive-Free Operation,” Lab on a Chip, 13, 297-301 (2013).

Cheng MC, Leske AT, Matsuoka T, Kim BC, Lee J, Burns MA, Takayama S, and Biteen JS, “Super-Resolution Imaging of PDMS Nanochannels by Single-Molecule Micelle-Assisted Blink Microscopy,” J. Phys. Chem. B., 117(16), 4406-4411 (2013).

Li Y, Burke DT, Kopelman R, and Burns MA, “Asynchronous Magnetic Bead Rotation (AMBR) Microviscometer for Label-Free DNA Analysis,” Biosensors, 4 (1), 76-89 (2014).

Lee J and Burns MA, “Asymmetric Traps Array for Particle Transport,” RSC Advances, 5 (5), 3358-3364 (2015).

Lin WC and Burns MA, “Low-Power Micro-Fabricated Liquid Flow-Rate Sensor,” Analytical Methods, 7(9), 3981-3987 (2015).

Wang S, Sung KJ, Lin XN, and Burns MA, “Bead Mediated Separation of Microparticles in Droplets,” PLoS ONE, 10:1371, (2017).

Lin WC, Brodum K, Monroe CW, Burns MA, “Multifunctional Water Sensors for pH, ORP, and Conductivity Using Only Microfabricated Platinum Electrodes,” Sensors, 17 (7), 1655 (2017).

Li Y, Ward KR, and Burns MA, “Viscosity Measurements Using Microfluidic Droplet Length,” Analytical Chemistry, 89 (7), 3996-4006 (2017).

Lin WV, Lee Z, and Burns MA, “A Drinking Water Sensor for Lead and Other Heavy Metals,” Analytical Chemistry, 89 (17), 8748-8756 (2017).

Lee J and Burns MA, “One-Way Particle Transport Using Oscillatory Flow in Asymmetric Traps,” Small, 14(9) 1702724 (2018).

Khaksari M, Mazzoleni LR, Ruan C, Song P, Hershey ND, Kennedy RT, Burns MA, and Minerick AR, “Detection and Quantification of Vitamins in Microliter Volumes of Biological Samples by LC‐MS for Clinical Screening,” AIChE Journal, 64(10), 3709-3718 (2018).

De Beer MP, Van Der Laan HL, Cole MA, Whelan RJ, Burns MA, Scott TF, “Rapid, Continuous Additive Manufacturing by Volumetric Polymerization Inhibition Patterning,” Science Advances, 5 (1), eaau8723 (2019).

Lee J, Mena SE, Burns MA, “Micro-Particle Operations Using Asymmetric Traps,” Scientific Reports, 9, 1278 (2019).

Krausz AD, Dewar R, Burns MA, “Accuracy Evaluation of a Tetrabromophenolphthaein Ethyl Ester Colorimetric Assay for Urinary Albumin,” Applied Laboratory Medicine, jalm. 030031 (2019).

Van Der Laan HL, Burns MA, Scott TF, “Volumetric Photopolymerization Confinement through Dual-Wavelength Photoinitiation and Photoinhibition,” ACS Macro Letters, 8, 899-904 (2019).

Pritchard Z, de Beer M, Whelan R, Scott TF, Burns MA, “Modeling and Correcting Cure‐Through in Continuous Stereolithographic 3D Printing,” Advanced Materials Technologies 4, 1900700 (2019).

Mena SE, Li Y, McCracken B, Colmenero C, Ward K, Burns MA, “A Droplet Based Microfluidic Viscometer for the Measurement of Blood Coagulation,” Biomicrofluidics, 14(1), 014109 (2020).

Mena SE, de Beer M, McCormick J, Habibi N, Lahann J, Burns MA, “Variable-Height Channels for Microparticle Characterization and Display,” Lab on a Chip, 20, 2510-2519 (2020).

Li Y, Kinnunen P, Hrin A, Burns MA, Kopelman R, “Magnetic Particle Biosensors,” in Biomedical Applications of Magnetic Particles, CRC Press, 197-239 (2020).

Tan JY, Wang S, Dick GJ, Young VB, Sherman DH, Burns MA, Lin XN, “Co-Cultivation of Microbial Sub-Communities in Microfluidic Droplets Facilitates High-Resolution Genomic Dissection of Microbial ‘Dark Matter,’” Integrative Biology, 12(11), 263-274 (2020).

Burns MA, Gallimore AD, Zurbuchen TH, Johnson VN, Lattuca LR, “A New Way to Distribute Research Seed Funding: Peer Review Without Formal Review,” Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 53(2), 33-40 (2021).

Krausz AD, Korley FK, and Burns MA, “A Variable Height Microfluidic Device for Multiplexed Immunoassay Analysis of Traumatic Brain Injury Biomarkers, Biosensors, 11(9), 320 (2021).

Krausz AD, Korley FK, and Burns MA, “The Current State of Traumatic Brain Injury Biomarker Measurement Methods,” Biosensors, 11(9), 319 (2021).

Nelson AM, Habibi S, Lee J, and Burns MA, “Electrochemical Deposition of Lead for Water Quality Sensing,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 169, 017505 (2022).