Hongshen Ma

Contact Information
Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS)
2366 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4
Office: ICICS 167
Tel: 1-604-827-4703
Fax: 1-604-822-7135
Fax: 1-604-822-2403
Email: hongma@mech.ubc.ca

Current Positions

  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering.
  • Associate member, Department of Urologic Sciences.
  • Senior Research Scientist, Vancouver Prostate Centre, Vancouver General Hospital.
  • Associate member, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Research Interests

The overarching goal of our research is the development of new technologies for medical research and treatment. Our work is enabled by advances in fabrication, measurement, and computation across a wide range of domains and length scales. Our core capabilities include microfabrication, microfluidics, instrumentation and automation, data analytics, and product development. Current research areas include 1) the development of new technologies for cell sorting, cell biomechanics, single cell sequencing, and cell migration and chemotaxis; as well as 2) the application of these technologies to study circulating tumor cells, personalize cancer therapies, assess blood quality, and expedite antimalarial drug development.

Selected Publications

  1. Park ES, Yan JP, Ang RR, Lee JH, Deng X, Duffy SP, Beja K, Annala M, Black PC, Chi KN, Wyatt AW, Ma H, Isolation and Genome Sequencing of Individual Circulating Tumor Cells using Hydrogel Encapsulation and Laser Capture Microdissection, Lab on a Chip, 18(12), 1736-1749, 2018. (PMID: 29762619; DOI: 10.1039/C8LC00184G).
  2. Kang N, Guo Q, Islamzada E, Ma H, Scott MD, Microfluidic determination of lymphocyte vascular deformability: effects of intracellular complexity and early immune activation, Integrative Biology, 10(4) 207-217, 2018. (PMID: 29570200; DOI: 10.1039/C7IB00191F).
  3. Park ES, Duffy SP, Ma H. (2017). Size and Deformability based Separation of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs). In Magbanua MJ and Park J (Eds.) Circulating Tumor Cells: Methods and Protocols. Springer.
  4. Guo Q, Duffy SP, Ma H. (2017). Microfluidic Technologies for Deformability based Cell Sorting. In Di Carlo D, Tseng P, Lee W (Eds.) Microtechnology for Cell Manipulation and Sorting (Microsystems and Nanosystems). Springer.
  5. Guo Q, Matthews K, Islamzada E, Duffy SP, Deng XMa H, Deformability based cell sorting enabling phenotypic fractionation of leukocytes, Scientific Reports, 7, 6627, 2017. (PMID: 28747668; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-06865-x).
  6. Matthews K, Duffy SP, Myrand-Lapierre M, Ang RR, Li L, Scott MD, Ma H, Microfluidic analysis of red blood cell deformability as a means to assess hemin-induced oxidative stress resulting from Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic parasitism, Integrative Biology, 9, 519-528, 2017. (PMID: 28524208; DOI: 10.1039/c7ib00039a).
  7. Todenhöfer T, Park S, Jin C, Ang RR, Duffy SP, Matthews K, Abdi H, Ma H, Black PC, Microfluidic enrichment of circulating tumor cells in patients with clinically localized prostate cancer, Urologic Oncology, 16, 30121, 2016. (PMID: 27658563; DOI: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2016.06.004).
  8. Park ES, Jin C, Guo Q, Ang RR, Duffy SP, Matthews K, Azad A, Abdi H, Todenhöfer T, Chi KN, Black PC, Ma H, Continuous Flow Deformability-Based Separation of Circulating Tumor Cells Using Microfluidic Ratchets, Small, 12(14), 1909-1919, 2016. (PMID: 26917414; DOI: 10.1002/smll.2015036390).
  9. Guo Q, Duffy SP, Matthews K, Deng X, Santoso ATIslamzada E, Ma H, Deformability based Sorting of Red Blood Cells Improves Diagnostic Sensitivity for Malaria Caused by Plasmodium Falciparum, Lab on a Chip (Communication), 16, 645-654, 2016. (PMID: 26768227; DOI: 10.1039/C5LC01248A).
  10. Duffy SP, Ma H. (2015). Morphological Characteristics of CTCs and the Potential for Biomechanical Separation. In Fan ZH (Ed.), Circulating Tumor Cells: Isolation and Analysis. Wiley.
  11. Wu T, Guo Q, H Ma, Feng JJ, The Critical Pressure for Driving a Red Blood Cell Through a Contracting Microfluidic Channel, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters, 5, 227-230, 2015.
  12. Deng X, Duffy SP, Myrand-Lapierre M, Matthews K, Santoso AT, Du Y, Ryan KS, Ma H, Reduced Deformability of Parasitized Red Blood Cells as a Biomarker for Antimalarial Drug Efficacy, Malaria Journal, 14(1), 428, 2015. (PMID: 26520795; DOI: 10.1186/s12936-015-0957-z).
  13. Santoso AT, Deng X, Lee JH, Matthews K, Duffy SP, Islamzada E, Myrand-Lapierre M, McFaul SM, Ma H, Microfluidic Cell-phoresis Enabling High-throughput Analysis of Red Blood Cell Deformability and Biophysical Screening of Antimalarial Drugs, Lab on a Chip, 15(23), 4451-4460, 2015. (PMID: 26477590; DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00945F).
  14. Matthews K, Myrand-Lapierre M, Ang RR, Duffy SP, Scott MD, Ma H, Microfluidic Deformability Analysis of the Red Cell Storage Lesion, Journal of Biomechanics, 48(15), 4065-4072, 2015. (PMID: 26477408; DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.10.002).
  15. Qin X, Park S, Duffy SP, Matthews K, Ang RR, Todenhöfer T, Abdi H, Azad A, Bazov J, Chi KN, Black PC, Ma H, Size and Deformability based Separation of Circulating Tumor Cells from Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer Patients using Resettable Cell Traps, Lab on a Chip, 15, 2278-2286, 2015. DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00226E. (PMID: 25876237).
  16. Myrand-Lapierre M, Ang RR, Deng X, Matthews K, Santoso ATMa H, Multiplexed Fluidic Plunger Mechanism for High-Throughput Analysis of Red Blood Cell Deformability, Lab on a Chip, 15(1), 159-167, 2015. DOI: 10.1039/c4lc01100g.(PMID: 25325848).
  17. Jiménez-Díaz MB, Ebert D, Salinas Y, Pradhan A, Lehane AM, Myrand-Lapierre ME, O’Loughlin KG, Shackleford DM, Justino de Almeida M, Carrillo AK, Clark JA, Dennis AS, Diep J, Deng X, Duffy S, Endsley AN, Fedewa G, Guiguemde WA, Gómez MG, Holbrook G, Horst J, Kim CC, Liu J, Lee MC, Matheny A, Martínez MS, Miller G, Rodríguez-Alejandre A, Sanz L, Sigal M, Spillman NJ, Stein PD, Wang Z, Zhu F, Waterson D, Knapp S, Shelat A, Avery VM, Fidock DA, Gamo FJ, Charman SA, Mirsalis JC, Ma H, Ferrer S, Kirk K, Angulo-Barturen I, Kyle DE, DeRisi JL, Floyd DM, Guy RK, (+)-SJ733: A Clinical Candidate for Malaria that Acts Through ATP4 to Induce Rapid Host-Mediated Clearance of Plasmodium, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(50), E5455-62, 2014. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1414221111. (PMID: 25453091).
  18. Guo Q, Duffy SP, Matthews K, Santoso AT, Scott MD, Ma H, Microfluidic Analysis of Red Blood Cell Deformability, Journal of Biomechanics, 47(8), 1767-1776, 2014. (PMID: 24767871).
  19. Beattie WJ, Qin X, Lin W, Ma H, Clog-free Cell Filtration Using Resettable Cell Traps, Lab on a Chip, 14(15), 2657-65, 2014. DOI:10.1039/C4LC00306C. (PMID: 24710608).
  20. Park S, Ang RR, Bazov J, Chi KN, Black PC, Ma H, Morphological Differences Between Circulating Tumour Cells from Prostate Cancer Patients and Cultured Prostate Cancer Cells, PLoS ONE, 9(1), e85264, 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085264. (PMID: 24416373).
  21. Jin C, McFaul SM, Duffy SP, Deng X, Tevassoli P, Black PC, Ma H, Technologies for Label-free Separation of Circulating Tumor Cells: from Historical Foundations to Recent Developments, Lab on a Chip, 14(1), 32-44, 2014. DOI: 10.1039/C3LC50625H. (PMID: 23963515).
  22. Lin BK, McFaul SM, Jin C, Black PC, Ma H, Highly Selective Biomechanical Separation of Cancer Cells from Leukocytes using Microfluidic Ratchets and Hydrodynamic Concentrator, Biomicrofluidics, 7, 034114, 2013. (PMID: 24404034).
  23. Kwan JM, Guo Q, Kyluik-Price DL, Ma H, Scott MD, Microfluidic analysis of cellular deformability of normal and oxidative-damaged red blood cells, American Journal of Hematology, 8(88), 682-689, 2013. (PMID: 23674388).
  24. Milavanovic L, Ma H, Microfluidic technique for measuring friction between single cells and engineered surfaces, Analytical Methods, 4, 4303-4309, 2012.
  25. Lu PJ, Hoehl MM, MacArthur JB, Sims PA, Ma H, Slocum AH, Robust and economical multi-sample, multi-wavelength UV/vis absorption and fluorescence detector for biological and chemical contamination, AIP Advances, 2(3), 032110, 2012.
  26. Guo Q, Park S, Ma H, Microfluidic micropipette aspiration for measuring the deformability of single cells, Lab on a Chip, 12(15), 2687-2695, 2012. (PMID: 22622288).
  27. McFaul SM, Lin BK, Ma H, Cell separation based on size and deformability using microfluidic funnel ratchets, Lab on a Chip, 12 (13), 2369-2376, 2012. (PMID: 22517056).
  28. Guo Q, Reiling SJ, Rohrbach P, Ma H, Microfluidic Biomechanical Assay for Red Blood Cells Parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum, Lab on a Chip, 12 (6), 1143-1150, 2012. (PMID: 22318405).


  • Postdoctoral Scientist, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • M.S., Media Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • B.A.Sc., Engineering Physics, University of British Columbia.