Dr Dan Yuan

Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology


Dr Dan Yuan is currently a Lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering (SoMME) at the University of Queensland. She completed her PhD at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in 2018. After graduation, she continued her research at UOW as an Associate Research Fellow. From 2019 to 2021, she was a JSPS Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Tokyo. From 2021 to 2022, she worked as an Alfred Deakin Research Fellow at Deakin University.

Based on the micro-nano devices, she was doing interdisciplinary research of mechatronics, chemistry, physics, optics, environmental and biomedical applications, aiming at addressing real-life challenges in both environment and biomedicine. Her research interests are microfluidics, microfabrication, development of point-of-need devices for environmental and biomedical applications, intelligent image activated cell sorting, and smart sensors, materials and platforms.

In less than 10 years’ research time, she published 57 peer-reviewed journal articles which have received > 2500 citations. The prestigious journals include Adv. Funct. Mater., Nat. Commun., Small, Lab Chip, Microsystems & Nanoengineering, and Anal. Chem. She currently has an h-index of 25. She was the Guest Editor for Biosensors (2022), Frontiers in Medical Technology (2021-2022); regular independent reviewer for more than 10 international journals such as ACS Nano, Lab on a Chip, Analytical Chemistry, Microsystems and Nanoengineering, Scientific Reports, IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics, Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, Cytometry Part A. etc. She was awarded the prestigious Alfred Deakin Research Fellowship and JSPS Research Fellowship.

Master and PhD positions are opening. The potential research projects include physics of fluid flow (especially non-Newtonian fluids) in micro/nano-channels, manipulation and separation of micro-/nanoparticles and fluid control, development of point-of-need devices for environmental and biomedical applications (e.g. disease diagnosis and therapeutics), intelligent microfluidics. Candidates with backgrounds in engineering (e.g., mechanical, mechatronics, materials, chemical and biomedical etc.), information technology, physics and biomedicine are welcome to enquiry.

Research Impacts

Dr Dan Yuan is a lead researcher in the field of viscoelastic microfluidics and its applications. She has developed comprehensive understanding of fundamental physics for particle migration in microfluidics especially viscoelastic microfluidics, which could expand the boundary of current knowledge. Also, she has developed cutting edge microfluidic technologies for particle and cell manipulation and separation, aiming at addressing real-life challenges in both biomedicine and environment. Her research achievements and emerging reputation have been acknowledged by the broader scientific community. She was awarded the competitive Alfred Deakin Research Fellowship and awarded JSPS Fellowship as a chief investigator and secured $378K AUD research funding in total.

She was the first to develop viscoelastic fluids-based microdevices for cell manipulation and apply them to extract blood plasma from blood with ultra-high purity (Lab Chip, 2016, 16(20): 3919-3928.). This work has attracted international interests due to its potential in cancer diagnostics and prognosis, as evidenced by reports of her discovery by worldwide media in 2017: Health Canal (United States); Technology Networks (United Kingdom); UOW (University of Wollongong) news (Australia); X-MOL (China); et al. This ground-breaking research has been selected as the cover page of Lab Chip. Her work of developing viscoelastic microfluidic devices for cell purification (Lab Chip, 2019, 19(17): 2811-2821.) was selected as the cover page of Lab Chip, and was listed as one of Lab Chip’s highest citing papers contributing to its Impact Factor 7.517 (with 19 alone in 2021). This novel platform technology has started to transform the way cells are identified and purified, and is also paving the way for addressing problems with microalgae contamination in industrial processes. In addition to the size-based cell manipulation, she also pioneered the area of shape-based separation techniques and applied this to the separation of cyanobacteria, demonstrating the ability to manipulate cells based on morphologies and with a size of >100 μm (Anal. Chem. 2021, 93, 37, 12648–12654). This is a revolutionary achievement opening opportunities and applications in research fields not yet employing microfluidic technologies. This work was featured as a cover page article and has been interviewed and reported by media X-MOL (China). Her review article on the recent progress of particle migration in viscoelastic fluid (Lab Chip. 2018 18 (4): 551-567.) was listed as Web of Science Highly Cited paper.


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  • Doctor Philosophy

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Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

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