Dr Colin Lee Hisey

BChE, MS/PhD Biomedical Engineering


I am currently a Research Fellow at the Hub for Extracellular Vesicle Investigations (HEVI, hevi.ac.nz), a SRIF-funded research centre that helps encourage, facilitate and expand EV research across the University of Auckland.

I received my BChE and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and my MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from The Ohio State University.  As a graduate student, I was a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center Fellow and a Whitaker International Fellow at Ciet-IK4 San Sebastian, Spain.  Following graduation in 2018, I moved to the University of Auckland and began working as a Research Fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, where I continue working today.  I am also developing my own independent research program by supervising several students, securing competitive funding and establishing local and international research collaborations.

Research | Current

My research background is in nanomaterials and biomedical microdevice design and fabrication.  In my lab, to put it simply, we build really small things with the aim of improving human health.  We do this not just because it’s fun and fascinating, but also because the technology that we create will allow us to understand and interact with physiological processes at the scale in which they truly take place.

Some of the projects I'm involved in include:

  • Single-cell cancer racetracks for personalised drug screening
  • Extracellular vesicle liquid biopsy using microfluidics
  • Biomaterial surface patterning
  • Platelet aggregation on biomaterials
  • Syncytial knot (macrovesicle) separation devices
  • 3D bioprinting of vascular mimics
  • Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
  • Bioparticle fluid flow simulations
  • Preimplantation analysis of embryos


  • 2020 Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust Project Grant 3D Laser-assisted bioprinting: Towards high-resolution printing of human tissue models (AI)
  • 2020 JI Sutherland Fund, Auckland Medical Research Foundation EV-chip to detect melanoma therapy response (PI)
  • 2020 Maurice Wilkins Centre Future Science Day Dragon’s Den Collaboration - A Sweet-as Use for Candy Floss (AI)
  • 2019 Breast Cancer Foundation NZ Project Grant - Rapid Catch-and-Release Microfluidic Isolation of Highly Specific Breast Cancer EVs (PI)
  • 2019 Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust Project Grant - Cell-specific Growth Surface Topography Optimisation for Extracellular Vesicle Studies (PI)
  • 2019 Faculty Research Development FundInvestigating the mysteries of embryo implantation; do embryo secreted EVs play a role? (AI)
  • 2015 Whitaker International Fellowship - Single Cancer Trapping and Migration in a Microfluidic Device (PI)

Postgraduate supervision

Undergraduate, Graduate and Visiting International Students

Aimee Walden
Ben Sharp
Kanav Singh
Ella Reshef
Esther Ji
Joseph Feng

Ashley Hanlon
Diane Brewster
Pierre Bessot
AJ Tyler
Arvin Lim


2020 Australasian EV Conference Young Investigator Award
2015 Whitaker International Fellow


Hub for Extracellular Vesicle Investigations

Areas of expertise

  • Cleanroom micro and nanofabrication
  • Microfluidic devices
  • Extracellular Vesicles
  • Circulating tumour cells
  • Biomaterial surface patterning
  • 3D printing

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Akbarinejad, A., Hisey, C. L., Brewster, D., Ashraf, J., Chang, V., Sabet, S., ... Chamley, L. (2020). Novel Electrochemically Switchable, Flexible, Microporous Cloth that Selectively Captures, Releases, and Concentrates Intact Extracellular Vesicles. ACS applied materials & interfaces, 12 (35), 39005-39013. 10.1021/acsami.0c11908
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Barker, David Williams, Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, Yohanes Nursalim, Cherie Blenkiron, Larry Chamley, Clive Evans
  • Hisey, C. L., Mitxelena-Iribarren, O., Martinez-Calderon, M., Gordon, J. B., Olaizola, S. M., Benavente-Babace, A., ... Hansford, D. J. (2019). A versatile cancer cell trapping and 1D migration assay in a microfluidic device. Biomicrofluidics, 13 (4), 044105-1-044105-8. 10.1063/1.5103269
  • Dorayappan, K. D. P., Gardner, M. L., Hisey, C. L., Zingarelli, R. A., Smith, B. Q., Lightfoot, M. D. S., ... Hansford, D. J. (2019). A microfluidic chip enables isolation of exosomes and establishment of their protein profiles and associated signaling pathways in ovarian cancer. Cancer Research, 79 (13), 3503-3513. 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-3538
  • Hisey, C. L., Dorayappan, K. D. P., Cohn, D. E., Selvendiran, K., & Hansford, D. J. (2018). Microfluidic affinity separation chip for selective capture and release of label-free ovarian cancer exosomes. Lab on a Chip, 18 (20), 3144-3153. 10.1039/c8lc00834e
  • Mitxelena-Iribarren, O., Hisey, C. L., Errazquin-Irigoyen, M., González-Fernández Y, Imbuluzqueta, E., Mujika, M., ... Arana, S. (2017). Effectiveness of nanoencapsulated methotrexate against osteosarcoma cells: in vitro cytotoxicity under dynamic conditions. Biomedical Microdevices, 19 (2).10.1007/s10544-017-0177-0
  • Kim, S. S., Hisey, C. L., Kuang, Z., Comfort, D. A., Farmer, B. L., & Naik, R. R. (2013). The effect of single wall carbon nanotube metallicity on genomic DNA-mediated chirality enrichment. Nanoscale, 5 (11), 4931-4931. 10.1039/c3nr00458a

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 502 - Bldg 502
Level 2, Room 201
New Zealand