Skip to content
Dean G. Johnson, Ph.D.

Dean G. Johnson, Ph.D.

he/him/his

Contact

About Me

Faculty Appointments

Research Assistant Professor - Department of Medicine, Nephrology (SMD)

Research Assistant Professor - Department of Biomedical Engineering (SMD) - Joint

Research

Dean Johnson is a Research Assistant Professor in the Nephrology Division at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the Department of Medicine. Over the past eight years, beginning as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Johnson has worked on developing the skills and tools needed to successfully perfo...
Dean Johnson is a Research Assistant Professor in the Nephrology Division at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the Department of Medicine. Over the past eight years, beginning as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Johnson has worked on developing the skills and tools needed to successfully perform the research needed to develop a novel miniaturized hemodialysis dialyzer. The goal of this proposal is to develop an integrated microfluidic system in the form of a wearable hemodialysis dialyzer with ultrathin, nanoporous, sheet membranes. Both my training and experience prepare me to successfully carry out the work proposed in this application. He completed a multidisciplinary doctoral degree in microsystems engineering with training in MEMS and system engineering. As a Ph.D. candidate, he developed integration technologies that brought together MEMS fabrication, direct-write processing, and room temperature polymer deposition in the creation of a biocompatible micropump for intracochlear infusions in the mouse model. As a faculty researcher, Dr. Johnson has developed benchtop membrane chip dialyzers that clear toxins at rates comparable to those of clinical hemodialysis and successfully tested these chip-based membranes in small-animal model hemodialysis experiments. He is a member of the Nanomembrane Research Group, which holds weekly meetings at the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology where developments and diverse applications of the ultrathin nanoporous membranes are discussed s and also attends Nephrology seminars at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
To improve both health outcomes and the quality of life for those on HD my lab is working on technologies to enable portable or wearable HD. The best hope for a healthier future for ESRD patients, short of a replacement kidney, is the emergence of disruptive technologies in HD therapy. The goal of my lab will be to develop MEMS technologies and devices for medical sensors, diagnostics, and therapies.
My current research focuses on exploiting the properties of ultrathin nanoporous membranes to enable portable/wearable hemodialysis devices for renal replacement therapy. My group is developing an in vitro benchtop large animal model simulator and has experience with microdialysis, small-format device hemodialysis, uremic toxin metrology, and Multiphysics modeling (COMSOL).
In the next three years, I will improve benchtop tests and techniques to help bring compact dialysis devices from benchtop to clinical trials, reducing the number of animals used in pre-clinical trials. I will investigate basic research questions regarding hemodialysis, ESRD, AKI, and other kidney disorders through the development of more efficient HD devices and microfluidic-based diagnostic and benchtop tools. Benchtop tools may include nephron on a chip, kidney on a chip, and a benchtop model of the human vasculature including uremic toxin compartments. My research lab will investigate toxin detection, biomarkers, and therapeutic techniques through the application of these tools.

Publications

Journal Articles

Free Standing, Large-Area Silicon Nitride Membranes for High Toxin Clearance in Blood Surrogate for Small-Format Hemodialysis.

Miller JJ, Carter JA, Hill K, DesOrmeaux JS, Carter RN, Gaborski TR, Roussie JA, McGrath JL, Johnson DG

Membranes.. 2020 June 610 (6)Epub 06/06/2020.

Second Generation Nanoporous Silicon Nitride Membranes for High Toxin Clearance and Small Format Hemodialysis.

Hill K, Walker SN, Salminen A, Chung HL, Li X, Ezzat B, Miller JJ, DesOrmeaux JS, Zhang J, Hayden A, Burgin T, Piraino L, May MN, Gaborski TR, Roussie JA, Taylor J, DiVincenti L, Shestopalov AA, McGrath JL, Johnson DG

Advanced healthcare materials.. 2020 January 15 :e1900750. Epub 01/15/2020.

Protein Separation and Hemocompatibility of Nitride Membranes in Microfluidic Filtration Systems.

Salminen A, Hill K, Henry Chung L, James McGrath L, Johnson DG

Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.. 2018 July 2018 :5814-5817. Epub 1900 01 01.

Modification of Nanoporous Silicon Nitride with Stable and Functional Organic Monolayers.

Li X, Johnson D, Ma W, Chung H, Getpreecharsawas J, McGrath JL, Shestopalov AA

Chemistry of materials : a publication of the American Chemical Society.. 2017 March 1429 (5):2294-2302. Epub 02/22/2017.

Nanoporous membrane robustness / stability in small form factor microfluidic filtration system.

Johnson DG, Pan S, Hayden A, McGrath JL

Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.. 2016 August 2016 :1955-1958. Epub 1900 01 01.

Towards an Implantable, Low Flow Micropump That Uses No Power in the Blocked-Flow State.

Johnson DG, Borkholder DA

Micromachines.. 2016 June 17 (6)Epub 06/01/2016.

Analytical and Finite Element Modeling of Nanomembranes for Miniaturized, Continuous Hemodialysis.

Burgin T, Johnson D, Chung H, Clark A, McGrath J

Membranes.. 2015 December 316 (1)Epub 12/31/2015.

Ultrathin silicon membranes for wearable dialysis.

Johnson DG, Khire TS, Lyubarskaya YL, Smith KJ, Desormeaux JP, Taylor JG, Gaborski TR, Shestopalov AA, Striemer CC, McGrath JL

Advances in chronic kidney disease.. 2013 November 20 (6):508-15. Epub 1900 01 01.

In-plane biocompatible microfluidic interconnects for implantable microsystems.

Johnson DG, Frisina RD, Borkholder DA

IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering.. 2011 April 58 (4):943-8. Epub 12/10/2010.

Implantable micropump technologies for murine intracochlear infusions.

Johnson DG, Waldron MJ, Frisina RD, Borkholder DA

Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.. 2010 2010 :6441-4. Epub 1900 01 01.

Micro-molded cannulae for intracochlear infusions in small rodents.

Johnson DG, Zhu XX, Frisina RD, Borkholder DA

Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.. 2007 2007 :6617-20. Epub 1900 01 01.