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Mark A. Burns | Faculty

Mark A. Burns

Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering; T.C. Chang Professor, Chemical Engineering

3074F HH Dow
(734) 764-1516



Short Bio


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

University of Notre Dame
BS Chemical Engineering '81

Research & Teaching


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.


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.


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

Professional Experience

University of Michigan
Chemical Engineering Department
Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering, 2016 - present
  • Director of MCubed, 2014 - present
  • T.C. Chang Professor of Engineering, 2012
  • Chair, 2008-present
  • 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

Honors and Awards

  • 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

  • Chang DS, Langelier SM, Zeitoun RI, and MA Burns, “A Venturi Microregulator Array Module for Distributed Pressure Control,” Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 9 (4-5), 678-680 (2010).
  • Wang F and Burns MA, “Multiphase Bioreaction Microsystem With Automated On-Chip Droplet Operation,” Lab on a Chip, 10 (10), 1308-1315 (2010).
  • Wang F and Burns MA, “Droplet-based Microsystem For Multi-Step Bioreactions,” Biomedical Microdevices, 12 (3), 533-541 (2010)

Zeitoun RI, Chang DS, Langelier SM, Mirecki-Millunchick J, Solomon MJ, Burns MA, “Selective Arraying of Complex Particle Patterns,” Lab on a Chip, 10(9), 1142-1147 (2010).
  • Solomon MJ, Zeitoun R, Ortiz D, Sung KE, Deng D, Shah A, Burns MA, Glotzer SC, Millunchick JM, “Toward Assembly of Non-close-packed Colloidal Structures from Anisotropic Pentamer Particles,” Macromolecular Rapid Communications, 31(2) 196-201 (2010).
  • S. J. Kim, F. Wang, M. A. Burns, K. Kurabayashi, “Temperature-programmed natural convection for micromixing and biochemical reaction in a single microfluidic chamber,” Analytical Chemistry, 81 (11), 4510-4516, 2009.
  • S. M. Langelier, D. S. Chang, R. I. Zeitoun, M. A. Burns, “Acoustically driven programmable liquid motion using resonance cavities,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106 (31), 12617-12622, 2009.
  • F. Wang, M. A. Burns, “Performance of nanoliter-sized droplet-based microfluidic PCR,” Biomedical Microdevices, 11 (5), 1071-1080, 2009.
  • M. Rhee, M. A. Burns, “Microfluidic pneumatic logic circuits and digital pneumatic microprocessors for integrated microfluidic systems,” Lab on a Chip, 9 (21), 3131-3143, 2009.
  • R. I. Zeitoun, Z. Chen, M. A. Burns, “Transverse Imaging and Simulation of dsDNA Electrophoresis in Microfabricated Glass Channels,” Electrophoresis, 29 (23) 4768-4774, 2008.
  • S. A. Vanapalli, C. R. Lacovella, K. E. Sung, D. Mukhija, J. M. Millunchick, M. A. Burns, S. C. Glotzer, M. J. Solomon, “Fluidic assembly and packing of microspheres in confined channels,” Langmuir, 24 (7), 3661-3670, 2008.
  • F. Wang, M. Yang, M. A. Burns, “Microfabricated valveless devices for thermal bioreactions on diffusion-limited evaporation,” Lab on a Chip, 8 (1), 88-97 (2008).
  • M. Rhee, M. A. Burns, “Microfluidic assembly blocks,” Lab on a Chip, 8 (8), 1365-1373, 2008.

M. Rhee, M. A. Burns, “Drop mixing in a microchannel for Lab-on-a-Chip applications,” Langmuir, 24(2), 590-601, 2008.
  • Z. Hua, R. Pal, O. Srivannavit, M. A. Burns, E. Gulari, A light writable microfluidic "flash memory": Optically addressed actuator array with latched operation for microfluidic applications, Lab On a Chip 8 (3) (2008) 488-491.
  • F.Wang, M. Yang, M. A. Burns, Microfabricated valveless devices for thermal bioreactions based on diffusion-limited evaporation, Lab On a Chip 8 (1) (2008) 88-97.
  • M. Rhee, M. A. Burns, Drop mixing in a microchannel for lab-on-a-chip platforms, Langmuir 24 (2) (2008) 590-601.
  • K. E. Sung, S. A. Vanapalli, D. Mukhija, H. A. Mckay, J. M. Millunchick, M. A. Burns, M. J. Solomon, Programmable fluidic production of microparticles with configurable anisotropy, Journal of the American Chemical Society 130 (4) (2008) 1335-1340.
  • S. A. Vanapalli, C. R. Iacovella, K. E. Sung, D. Mukhija, J. M. Millunchick, M. A. Burns, S. C. Glotzer, M. J. Solomon, Fluidic assembly and packing of microspheres in confined channels, Langmuir 24 (7) (2008) 3661-3670.
  • M. Rhee, M. A. Burns, Microfluidic assembly blocks, Lab On a Chip 8 (8) (2008) 1365-1373.
  • R. I. Zeitoun, Z. Chen, M. A. Burns, Transverse Imaging and Simulation of dsDNA electrophoresis in microfabricated glass channels, Electrophoresis 29 (2008) 4768-4774.
  • D. S. Chang, S. M. Langelier, M. A. Burns, An electronic venturi-based pressure micro regulator, Lab On a Chip 7 (12) (2007) 1791-1799.
  • N. Srivastava, M. A. Burns, Microfluidic pressure sensing using trapped air compression, Lab On a Chip 7 (5) (2007) 633-637.
  • M. Rhee, M. A. Burns, Nanopore sequencing technology: nanopore preparations, Trends In Biotechnology 25 (4) (2007) 174-181.
  • D. Huh, K. L. Mills, X. Zhu, M. A. Burns, M. D. Thouless, S. Takayama, Tuneable elastomeric nanochannels for nanofluidic manipulation, Nature Materials 6 (6) (2007) 424-428.
  • P. K. Thwar, B. Guptary, M. Zhang, M. E. Gnegy, M. A. Burns, J. J. Linderman, Simple transporter trafficking model for amphetamine-induced dopamine efflux, Synapse 61 (7) (2007) 500-514.
  • J. Zheng, J. R. Webster, C. H. Mastrangelo, V. M. Ugaz, M. A. Burns, D. T. Burke, Integrated plastic microfluidic device for ssDna separation, Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical 125 (1) (2007) 343-351.
  • Z. Chen, R. Graham, M. A. Burns, R. G. Larson, Modeling ssDna electrophoretic migration with band broadening in an entangled or cross-linked network, Electrophoresis 28 (16) (2007) 2783-2800.
  • P. K. Thwar, J. J. Linderman, M. A. Burns, Electrodeless direct current dielectrophoresis reconfigurable field-shaping oil barriers using, Electrophoresis 28 (24) (2007) 4572-4581.
  • N. Srivastava, M. Burns, Analysis of non-Newtonian liquids using a microfluidic capillary viscometer, Analytical Chemistry 78 (5) (2006) 1690-1696.
  • R. Pal, M. Burns, Self-contained actuation of phase-change pistons in microchannels, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 16 (4) (2006) 786-793.
  • K. Sung, M. Burns, Optimization of dielectrophoretic DNA stretching in microfabricated devices, Analytical Chemistry 78 (9) (2006) 2939-2947.
  • R. Pal, K. Sung, M. Burns, Microstencils for the patterning of nontraditional materials, Langmuir 22 (12) (2006) 5392-5397.
  • N. Srivastava, M. A. Burns, Electronic drop sensing in microfluidic devices: automated operation of a nanoliter viscometer, Lab On a Chip 6 (6) (2006) 744-751.
  • S. M. Kim, M. A. Burns, E. F. Hasselbrink, Electrokinetic protein preconcentration using a simple glass/poly(dimethylsiloxane) microfluidic chip, Analytical Chemistry 78 (14) (2006) 4779-4785.
  • S. M. Kim, G. J. Sommer, M. A. Burns, E. F. Hasselbrink, Low-power concentration and separation using temperature gradient focusing via joule heating, Analytical Chemistry 78 (23) (2006) 8028-8035.
  • M. Rhee, M. A. Burns, Nanopore sequencing technology: research trends and applications, Trends In Biotechnology 24 (12) (2006) 580-586.