Dr Mairi Sandison

Senior Lecturer

Biomedical Engineering

Personal statement

My research focuses on exploiting microsystems engineering approaches (lab-on-a-chip, microfluidics, materials engineering) to create new in vitro models for investigating and controlling cell behaviours. Applications of this work include the development of tools for drug screening and for tissue engineering. My background is highly interdisciplinary, spanning the engineering-life science interface, with expertise in a wide range of cell biology, microfabrication, live-cell imaging and analytical technologies. 


Cellular microarrays for assessing single-cell phenotypic changes in vascular cell populations
Smith E, Zagnoni M, Sandison M E
Biomedical Microdevices Vol 25 (2023)
Microwell arrays for long-term confinement and single-cell tracking of phenotypic changes in vascular cell populations
Smith Ellis, Zagnoni Michele, Sandison Mairi
MNE2022 (48th International Conference on Micro and Nano Engineering) (2022)
Metal oxide-doped elastomeric materials for amplifying visible light-based antimicrobial activity
McShea Laura, Kambo Harjot S, Maclean Michelle, Sandison Mairi E
Materials Research Express Vol 9 (2022)
3D human model of the uterine wall in a microfluidic array
Busch Caroline, Hill Christopher, Hapangama Dharani, Zagnoni Michele, Sandison Mairi
EUROoCS Annual Meeting 2022 (2022)
3D printing of noncytotoxic high-resolution microchannels in Bisphenol-a ethoxylate dimethacrylate tissue-mimicking materials
Domingo-Roca Roger, Gilmour Lauren, Dobre Oana, Sarrigiannidis Stylianos, Sandison Mairi E, O'Leary Richard, Mulvana Helen E
3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing (2022)
3D-printed high-resolution microchannels for contrast enhanced ultrasound research
Domingo-Roca Roger, Gilmour Lauren, Asciak Lisa, Sarrigiannidis Stylianos, Dobre Oana, Salmeron-Sanchez Manuel, Sandison Mairi, O'Leary Richard, Jackson-Camargo Joseph, Mulvana Helen
2021 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) 2021 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2021 2021 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), pp. 1-4 (2022)

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I have taught on both the BEng/MEng and MSc courses in Biomedical Engineering and I am currently module coordinator for BE105 (Cell Biology 1) and co-lead on the creation and implementation of new UG teaching laboratory classes.

Research interests

Current research projects, involving collaboration with a diverse range of academic and clinical collaborators, include:

  • investigating the phenotypic changes in vascular cells that underlie cardiovascular disease
  • the development of organ-on-a-chip models for chronic gynaecological conditions
  • the development of new methods for monitoring mitochondrial dynamics in neuronal preparations
  • the development of novel materials for antimicrobial applications.

Professional activities

A Microfluidic Approach to Investigating Vascular Cell Fate at the Single-Cell Level
Adenomyosis-on-a-chip: a 3D endometrial-myometrial microfluidic model
Automated tracking of mitochondrial motility using image processing and epifluorescence microscopy
PhD External Examiner
Microwell Arrays for Monitoring Phenotypic Heterogeneity in Vascular Cell Populations

More professional activities


Development of a functional organ-in-lab model of human vascular aging
Wu, Junxi (Principal Investigator) Sandison, Mairi (Co-investigator) McCormick, Christopher (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2025
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Prosthetics & Orthotics | Brown, Ruth
Sandison, Mairi (Principal Investigator) Buis, Arjan (Co-investigator) Brown, Ruth (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2026
Adenomyosis-on-a-chip: a microfluidic 3D model of the endometrial-myometrial junction (EMJ)
Sandison, Mairi (Principal Investigator) Zagnoni, Michele (Co-investigator) Busch, Caroline (Researcher)
06-Jan-2021 - 23-Jan-2021
Development of novel, automated analyses for the quantification of cellular and sub-cellular dynamics from fluorescence video-microscopy
Chalmers, Susan (Principal Investigator) Sandison, Mairi (Co-investigator) Murray, Paul (Co-investigator) Campbell, Andrew John (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 11-Jan-2021
STEM Equals- Rational design of novel microfluidics devices for evaluating nanomedicine in vitro biological fate
Rattray, Zahra (Principal Investigator) Kazakidi, Asimina (Co-investigator) Sandison, Mairi (Co-investigator) Perrie, Yvonne (Co-investigator)
Nanotechnology in health has emerged as a promising solution to addressing unmet clinical need. While demonstrating significant promise and industrial uptake- pipeline attrition rates for nanomedicines remain high, significantly hampering the bench-to-clinic translation of nanomedicines. This is in part due to a lack of models adequately measuring and predicting biological fate. This project uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to aid the rational design of microfluidics devices mimicking human blood vasculature. It is anticipated that using CFD, we will be able to design more physiologically-relevant models of blood flow that can be used in the evaluation of nanomedicine biological fate.
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2021
Transformative Anatomically accurate Microvascular flow Phantoms for Ultrasound therapy research (TAMP-US)
Mulvana, Helen Elizabeth (Principal Investigator) Jackson, Joseph (Co-investigator) O'Leary, Richard (Co-investigator) Sandison, Mairi (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2021

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