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The University of Southampton
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Prof Xunli Zhang PhD FRSC CChem CEng

Professor of Bioengineering and Microsystems, Director of Chemical Engineering

Prof Xunli Zhang's photo

Prof Xunli Zhang is Professor of Bioengineering and Microsystems, Bioengineering Group and the Director of Chemical Engineering within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Xunli Zhang graduated from Northwest University (Xi'an, China), where he received his B.Eng. and M.Eng. in Chemical Engineering. Upon obtaining an ORS Award from the UK government, he started his Ph.D. studies at Imperial College London in October 1996, under the supervision of Professor Michael Mingos (FRS), and was awarded a Ph.D. degree by the University of London in May 2000. Subsequently, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the University of Hull with Professor Steve Haswell on miniaturised Lab-on-a-Chip technology. During this period he has also spent time as a senior scientist at Micro Chemical Systems Ltd. In August 2007, he joined the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton upon appointment to an RCUK (Research Councils UK) Academic Fellowship.

With a strong cross-disciplinary research background and experience at the interface of chemistry, chemical engineering and life sciences, Xunli’s current research interests are primarily centred around the development of microfluidic and Lab-on-a-Chip technologies and their applications in bioengineering. His research topics cover:


  • Cell-based bioanalysis, using microfluidic and Lab-on-a-Chip methodologies to manipulate and analyse single cells.
Cell-based bioanalysis
Cell-based bioanalysis





  • Drug delivery systems, synthesised with continuous-flow microfluidic reactors for controllable size and shape.
Drug delivery systems
Drug delivery systems




  • Biomicrofluidics for therapeutic applications including chemo/embolisation, ureteric stenting, and sclerosis of varicose veins.
Bio Microfluids
Bio Microfluids






  • Nano prisms, synthesised with continuous-flow microfluidic reactors for controllable optical properties
Nano prisms
Nano prisms





Research group

Bioengineering Science

Affiliate research group

Engineering Materials

Research project(s)

Organic nanoparticles for drug delivery – size matters

Making drug-loaded nanoparticles in a controllable way with uniform size or a narrow size range is crucial for their use as nanomedicine.

Blocking blood supply to starve cancerous tumours

Microfluidic technology can potentially provide a platform for evaluation of clinical and patient-specific features for cancer therapy, while as an alternative to animal models to reduce the amount of animal tests.

Nanoparticles for energy saving glazing

Nanoparticle based coating is a step towards energy saving glazing.

Rapid Diagnosis of Allergy to Drugs using a Microfluidic Platform

The aim of this project is to develop a microfluidics-based system for rapid diagnosis of allergy to drugs by integrating cross-disciplinary expertise of microfluidic bioengineering and medicine. This system will require small volumes of blood and provide a cost effective and reliable diagnostic test to determine drug allergy in patients. The study will focus on the separation and activation of human basophils, granulocytic cells which release histamine amongst other mediators in response to a drug allergen.

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Book Chapters



Module titleModule codeDisciplineRole
Engineering Design
SESM3001 Mechanical Course leader
Prof Xunli Zhang
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 7/4071

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