The University of Southampton
Engineering and the Environment

Dr Dario Carugo PhD, MSc, BSc, Biomedical Engineer

New Frontiers Fellow

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Dr Dario Carugo is Research Fellow within Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton.

Current position

Dario Carugo is a Research Fellow affiliated with the Bioengineering Sciences and Electromechanical Engineering research groups at the University of Southampton. He has been recently awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship for a research project aimed at developing microdevices for intra-cellular delivery of bioactive molecules by means of ultrasonic waves. He is also working as a Research Associate for the AQUALITY Consortium (FP7), with the aim of constructing an ultrasonic bacteria concentrator unit to be utilised in on-line industrial water quality analysis systems. Dario is working as a research consultant for industrial partners in the fields of therapeutic embolisation, targeted drug delivery and treatment of venous disorders.

Honours and awards

Date     Honours and awards
2013   Winner of UK Life Sciences Skills Award for Postgraduate of the Year (Sponsored by: Cogent, UKCES, BBSRC, Department of Health, Science Council and others)
2013    Medimaton prize for the Best Medical Engineering PhD thesis (Institution of Mechanical Engineers, IMechE)
2012    EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship (University of Southampton) 
2011   Travel grant received at the 15th Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences conference (MicroTAS, Seattle, USA), for the oral presentation titled “A microfluidic device for the characterization of embolisation with microspherical beads” (Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society) 
2009    Graziano Frigato award for the best MSc thesis in the field of haemodialysis (National Bioengineering Group, Italy) 

Career history

Dario obtained a BSc degree in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy) in 2006, with a thesis titled “Methods for measuring cardiac output in surgery and post-surgery”. In the same University, he obtained an MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2009, with a specialisation in Biofluid dynamics and Biomachineries. His MSc research project at the Laboratory of Biological Structure Mechanics (LaBS) focused on the design and implementation of a bi-compartmental model of mass transport phenomena in patient and filters during dialysis. As a result of this research, he obtained the Graziano Frigato national award for the best MSc thesis in the field of haemodialysis, during the National Bioengineering Congress (Bressanone, Italy, 2009). In October 2009 he joined the Bioengineering Sciences group at the University of Southampton and enrolled on a PhD programme. He obtained his PhD degree in 2012, with a thesis titled “Development of microfluidic systems for therapeutic applications”. His research activity focused on the implementation of experimental and computational models of the human microvascular system for investigating the mechanisms of therapeutic embolisation and targeted drug delivery. His work has been awarded the Medimaton prize for the Best Medical Engineering PhD thesis at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, IMechE (London, UK). He has been actively involved in the UK-India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI), taking part in research exchange programmes with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur in the period 2009-2012, and organising the first UK-Indo Workshop on Biomicrofluidics and Microscale Bioengineering (Southampton, UK). In 2012, he was awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship by the University of Southampton. From November 2012 to present, he is employed under the FP7 AQUALITY Consortium. Furthermore, he is involved in engineering consultancy projects with industries in the field of embolisation therapy and sclerotherapy, including Biocompatibles UK Ltd. and BTG International Ltd.





Research interests

Dario’s research interests lie within the broad fields of biomedical engineering and bio-microfluidics, with particular attention devoted to applications in clinical therapies, medical devices, and bio-analyses. He has undertaken a range of research projects across the areas of bio-fluid dynamics, cancer and vascular therapies, controlled drug delivery and manipulation-stimulation-analysis of biological cells. His research covers:

  • Biomimetic systems: Design and fabrication of biomimetic in-vitro models capable of reproducing the dynamics of fluid and species transport within biological systems, including vascular and microvascular networks, renal compartment and urinary tract.
  • Medical devices: Development of experimental and computational engineering platforms for evaluating the performance of medical devices and materials, including embolisation beads, drug eluting beads, ureteral stents, sclerosing foams, and hydrogel constructs for tissue engineering.
  • Drug delivery: Microfluidic-based production of nanoscale drug delivery systems; investigation of the underlying mechanisms of formation; and development of microdevices for facilitating the intracellular delivery of bio-active molecules using ultrasonic waves (sonoporation).
  • Acoustofluidics: Microscale manipulation of cells, bacteria and microparticles using ultrasonic waves, with application in bio-analyses and fluid processing.

Dario has a strong multi-disciplinary attitude and likes to work on both fundamental science and applied research. His skills encompass experimental, computer-based image analysis and numerical simulations.


Dario is involved in collaborative research projects with national and international groups, including:

Journal referencing

  • Biomicrofluidics (American Institute of Physics)
  • Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews (Elsevier)
  • Current Analytical Chemistry (Bentham Science)
  • The Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (IEEE)
  • Lab On a Chip
  • The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
  • Corrosion Science
  • Micromachines
Microscope image
Microscope image
Biometric microchannel network
Biometric microchannel network
Ultrasonic microfluidic device
Ultrasonic microfluidic device

Research group

Bioengineering Science

Affiliate research group

Mechatronics Engineering Group



Dario has been involved as demonstrator for laboratory sessions of:

  • Properties of Materials;
  • Fluid Mechanics;
  • Advanced Finite Element Analysis.

He has also supervised BSc, MSc and both national and international internship students, providing support in their practical laboratory sessions and thesis writing.

Dr Dario Carugo
Engineering and the Environment University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number:13/4091

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