David Sinton

Contact via University of Toronto

Key Research Areas
Associated Researchers
Associated Organizations

Recent Research Projects

Microfluidics and Energy

2015/16-2019/20 • $850,000 • PI
The proposed Canada Research Chair will develop and apply innovations in microfluidics to advance renewable energy and mitigate the negative impacts of current energy practices. To advance renewables, we will enable solar energy conversion of CO2 into products via photosynthesis and...

1000 individually-controlled microcosms to assess ecological impacts in Canadian ecosystems, aquaculture, and agriculture

2017/18-2019/20 • $644,900 • PI,CO
Canadian aquaculture and agriculture will be subject to a complex mix of global change in combination with local stressors. With our combined engineering-ecological expertise we will develop and apply a platform for measuring organism and community responses to multiple environmental parameters....

Nanofluidics for Energy

2015/16-2019/20 • $345,000 • PI
Many large scale energy applications rely on small scale fluid transport. Over the last few years our group and others have developed microfluidic approaches for bioenergy, carbon sequestration, reservoir fluid analysis, and quantifying pore-scale transport in conventional microporous oil and...

Electrosynthesis of Ethanol from CO2

2019/20 • $149,500 • PI,CO
The emergence of low-cost, low-carbon electricity has resulted in a significant interest in power-to-chemicals, particularly synthetic fuels, for utilization of CO2 and storage of variable electricity. Significant advances have been made in the selective and efficient conversion of CO2 to CO,...

Nanofluidics for Energy

2015/16-2019/20 • $120,000 • PI
No summary

CREATE Program in Materials for Enhanced Energy Technologies

2015/16-2018/19 • $900,000 • PI,CO
We are facing a global energy crisis led by our reliance on fossil fuels and our inefficient consumption. Materials are a key component to averting this crisis. By controlling the properties of materials down to the nanometer scale, we can improve performance in energy applications and reduce...

Microfluidics for analysis of solvent-based bitumen recovery methods and rapid measurement of relevant fluid properties

2015/16-2018/19 • $510,975 • PI
This proposal describes the development and application of microfluidics for analysis of solvent-based bitumenrecovery methods and rapid measurement of relevant fluid properties. The work will directly inform andimprove Canadian oil recovery operations, in close partnership with Calgary-based...

Hydrocarbon phase transitions in nanochannels

2015/16-2018/19 • $343,250 • PI
Oil and gas production from unconventional shale/tight oil reservoirs is reshaping global energy supply. These operations involve complex phase dynamics of hydrocarbon mixtures in nanoscale pores. The current lack of fundamental understanding and reservoir-relevant experimental data have both...

Sperm Olympics: Selecting 1 in 100,000 for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

2017/18-2018/19 • $272,390 • PI,CO
In North America, one in six couples experiences infertility - a 2-fold increase since 1992.Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) andintracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), require human intervention to manually select sperm in the case of ICSI a single...

Nomination for NSERC Steacie Memorial Fellowship

2016/17-2017/18 • $1,500,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship
No summary

Nomination for NSERC Steacie Memorial Fellowship

2017/18 • $300,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship
No summary

Next Generation Carbon Dioxide Electrolyzer for Renewable Energy Storage

2017/18 • $145,861 • PI
The worlds concentration levels of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), one of the major contributors to the greenhouse effect, have reached record values in modern times, 400 ppm, and are continuing to increase at an alarming rate. One proposed strategy to mitigate this concentration increase is to utilize...

Mobile heath app screening for male fertility

2017/18 • $122,372 • PI
DigiSperm is a rapid, point-of-care, low-cost device that uses paper-based microfluidic technology to quantify male fertility potential. The device simultaneously measures three critical semen parameters for male fertility diagnosis in 10 min: live sperm concentration, motile sperm...

Pore-scale microfluidics for improved efficiency in thermal oil recovery with steam assisted gravity drainage

2013/14-2016/17 • $355,157 • PI
This proposal describes the development of a microfluidic platform to inform and improve Canadian oil recovery operations, in partnership with Calgary-based Suncor Energy. Two microfluidic platforms will be developed to study pore-scale transport phenomena in the steam assisted gravity drainage...

Nomination for NSERC Steacie Memorial Fellowship

2016/17 • $300,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship
No summary

Manufacturing Block Copolymer-Based Drug Delivery Vehicles in Microfluidics

2013/14-2015/16 • $454,500 • PI,CO
The loading of certain therapeutics into lipid- or polymer-based drug delivery vehicles is critical to their successful administration. Drug delivery vehicles increase efficacy for both water-soluble (e.g. the anticancer drug doxorubicin) and water-insoluble (e.g. the anticancer drug paclitaxel)...

Nanoparticle-CO2 foams: New methods for carbon storage and oil recovery via pore-scale microfluidics

2013/14-2015/16 • $403,500 • PI
This proposal describes the development and testing of nanoparticle-stabilized CO2 foam for carbon storage and enhanced oil recovery using microfluidics. The aim is pore-scale mobility control achieved by packaging CO2 into foams with interface-stabilizing nanoparticles. The 3-year deliverable...

Supercharging photosynthesis with 10,000 optofluidic bioreactors - E.W.R. Steacie Fellowship Equipment Request

2015/16 • $149,549 • PI
This equipment funding request is in support of an awarded E.W.R. Steacie Fellowship research program.<br /> <br /> Photosynthesis is the model process for converting solar energy into complex chemical bonds. Photosynthetic microorganisms, or microalgae, are particularly well suited for this...

Transport in integrated microfluidics and nanofluidics

2010/11-2014/15 • $140,000 • PI
In the proposed work, improved methods to concentrate and detect charged analytes will be developed through the study and application of transport phenomena in small scale fluid systems. Analytes of interest are charged proteins that can indicate many infectious, cardiovascular and...

High quality sperm selection for intrauterine insemination

2014/15 • $124,774 • PI
QSpermTM is a one-step, inexpensive, easy-to-use microfluidic solution that uses state-of-the-art knowledge of sperm swimming behaviour to select high quality sperm to improve the success rate of assisted reproduction. In preliminary testing the alpha prototype has shown an 80% improvement in...

High-throughput sperm motility assay and automated selection for clinical in vitro fertilization

2011/12-2013/14 • $244,500 • PI,CO
This proposal describes the development and application of a high-throughput sperm physiological motilitymeasurement to: (1) quantify the correlation between sperm motility and DNA integrity; (2) correlate thetendency of sperm to swim near vessel walls with sperm viability; and (3) apply these...

Evanescent light based photobioreactors for sustainable CO2 to biofuel conversion in the Canadian climate

2010/11-2012/13 • $454,400 • PI,CO
This proposal describes the development plan for a photobioreactor architecture that enables biofuel-producing cyanobacteria to be both packed tightly within the reactor and excited optimally, removing the main limitations of current photobioreactors and enabling sustainable operation in Canada....



Various embodiments of methods and apparatus for separating sperm, including apparatus having an inlet and an outlet reservoir, and either: i) a radial array of microchannels disposed between the inlet and outlet reservoirs to provide fluid communication therebetween and to direct motile sperm inwardly from the inlet reservoir to the outlet reservoir; or ii) at least one microchannel path disposed between the inlet and outlet reservoirs to provide fluid communication therebetween, the at...
Related applications: CA20132834007


Disclosed herein is a low cost and rapid microfluidic based method and test device for quantifying male fertility potential. The device can simultaneously measure three critical semen parameters rapidly, namely live sperm concentration, motile sperm concentration, and sperm motility. The device includes a transparent substrate and a top sheet with two holes therethrough and an intermediate sheet sandwiched between the substrate and the top sheet. The wells formed by holes form a...
Related applications: CA20163003921, WO2016CA51352


Methods and apparatuses for determining a material characteristic of a sample material are disclosed. A sample material is loaded to a plurality of cells. An interference material is disposed relative to the sample material such that the interference material at least retards the transport of the sample material from a one of the cells to at least another one of the cells. For each one of the cells, independently: a stimulus is applied to the sample material in the cell such that a...
Related applications: CA20172963759


An abrupt interface electroreduction catalyst includes a porous gas diffusion layer and a catalyst layer providing a sharp reaction interface. The electroreduction catalyst can be used for converting CO2 into a target product such as ethylene. The porous gas diffusion layer can be hydrophobic and configured for contacting gas-phase CO2 while the catalyst layer is disposed on and covers a reaction interface side of the porous gas diffusion layer. The catalyst layer has another side contacting...
Related applications: WO2018CA50758, EP20180821612


The disclosure provides in its first aspect a catalyst system for gas-phase electrolysis of a reactant gas to form a product in an aqueous medium, the catalyst system comprising a catalytic material; an ion-conducting polymer layer provided on the catalytic material and comprising an ion-conducting polymer that includes hydrophilic and hydrophobic groups. Said catalyst system is remarkable in that the ion-conducting polymer layer has a thickness of 2 nm to 50 nm measured by...
Related applications: WO2020EP80754