Jaap den Toonder is full professor and Chair of the Microsystems research Section at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His group focuses its research on the investigation and development of innovative technological concepts, fabrication methods, and interactive polymer materials for microsystems for a wide range of applications. The application focus is on microfluidic chips, biomedical microdevices, and soft microrobotics. The group’s research approaches are often biologically inspired, translating principles from nature into technological innovations.

Den Toonder’s main personal research interests are microfluidics,  nature-inspired micro-actuators, smart medical microdevices, and organs-on-chips to understand cancer. Den Toonder teaches courses on microfabrication methods, microfluidics, and heat and flow in microsystems, in which hands-on learning is a key element. He received an ERC Advanced Grant in 2019.

One of the most fascinating scientific trends of today is the merging of technology and biology: new technological solutions are inspired by biology, and technology is used to study, understand, and even steer biological processes.”


Jaap den Toonder studied at Delft University of Technology where he obtained his MSc in Applied Mathematics (cum laude). He received his PhD  (cum laude) from the same university on a numerical/theoretical and experimental study of drag reduction in turbulent flows by polymer additives. In 1995, he joined Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, and began working in mechanics of solid materials. He worked on a wide variety of applications, such as ceramic capacitors, optical storage systems, IC low-k materials, RF MEMS, soft electronics, biomedical devices, polymer MEMS, and micro-fluidics. In 2008, he became Chief Technologist, leading the R&D program on (micro-)fluidics, and (starting  2011) materials science and engineering. He was involved in research programs on molecular diagnostics, lab-on-chip, immersion lithography and energy applications.  

Next to his main job at Philips, he was a part-time professor of Microfluidics Technology at Eindhoven University of Technology between 2004 and 2013.

Jaap den Toonder has (co-)authored over 140 scientific papers, as well as over 45 patents, and he has given more than 60 invited lectures at international conferences. He is scientific advisor of three companies that spun off from his group. Jaap den Toonder has founded and directs the Microfab/lab: a state‐of‐the‐art facility at TU/e that encompasses a unique set of many techniques needed to create and analyse microfluidic devices and microsystems including biological materials.

Ancillary Activities

  • Scientific Advisor, AZAR Innovations
  • Scientific Advisor, ShanX Medtech
  • Member of the Executive Board, human organ and Disease Model Technologies Institute (hDMT)
  • member of Editorial Board, Micromachines
  • Editorial Board, Biomicrofluidics
  • Scientific advisor, InnoFluidics
  • Editorial Board, Biomimetics