Contact and PI: Dr Hanno Evard, hanno.evard@ut.ee

Photo: Liina Niinemägi
Photo: Liina Niinemägi

In our research group, we have focused on entrepreneurial science. We are developing microfluidic chips that can easily, inexpensively, and quickly measure the level of small molecules (such as some drugs, pesticides, and food supplements) in samples.

We have demonstrated a set of novel printing methods to fabricate porous microfluidic systems similarly to microfluidic paper-based analytical devices. Our microfluidic chips can be made of different porous materials, and therefore we are not limited to purely paper-based devices.

We are using these porous materials and printing technologies to develop applied lab-on-a-chip systems. For example, one direction of research is to determine several heavy metals in one test simultaneously. We are also developing a type of lab-on-a-chip that combines different methods of molecular biology and chemistry assays which allows us to remove interfering compounds from the sample and to detect the amount of analyte more accurately. As a result, this universal platform has applications in a wide range of fields: medicine, the beauty and food industry, environmental monitoring, etc.


Our mission and values

• entrepreneurial science
• helping society with our knowledge, skills, and research
• enjoy and love doing research
• good and supportive teamwork; a team where it’s safe to share and discuss all ideas

For some, failing is a full stop (.) But for successful, it’s just a comma (,)!!!!

Photo: Liina Niinemägi
Photo: Liina Niinemägi


















Our people:
Hanno Evard
Photo: Liina Niinemägi

Head of microfluidics group

At the moment I am leading a microfluidics science group, where our aim is to develop advanced microfluidic chips that are based on porous materials and produced by printing technologies. The goal is to develop microfluidic chips applicable for real-world problems.

I have been involved with Analytical Chemistry throughout my whole career as a researcher. During my post-doc period I carried out the research on microfluidic chips as ionization sources for Mass Spectrometry and single cell metabolomics at University of Helsinki. In my PhD research I worked with paper-spray ionization and on analytical method validation, focusing especially on estimation of limit of detection and limit of quantification. In Bachelor studies I worked on developing packed liquid chromatography columns with novel materials.

My interests in science:

I am interested in developing new technologies that help to solve real-world problems. I am fond on entrepreneurial science.

My non-scientific hobbies are growing chilli plants, hiking, backgammon

Published research: ETIS


Airiin Laaneväli


I   have   studied   environmental engineering (BSc) and gene technology (MSc) in my earlier studies in the University of Tartu. During my PhD program I carried out research in biomedical engineering in virology studying Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV-s); I started research about beta-HPV-s already in my Master studies. I have always been interested in business and economics – at the same time with Master studies I worked as a project coordinator and manager in Tartu Biotechnology Park. I have been interested in and contributed to the emergence of high – tech companies among both students and researchers of natural sciences.

In addition, I am doing my MBA studies in financial management at the University of Tartu and in 2019, I participated in summer-university of The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) for young managers.

My interests in science:

I have a big curiosity for getting to know how things work on molecular level and through that I am interested in solving scientific questions. And my second big interest is to help society through science based high-technology inventions.


I love taking up new hobbies every year, but during the years, volleyball, working with children, learning Spanish, organizing events, playing table-games have maintained my favorite free-time activities.

Published research:

• Liblekas, Lisett; Piirsoo, Alla; Laanemets, Annika; Tombak, Eva-Maria; Laaneväli, Airiin; Ustav, Ene; Ustav, Mart and Piirsoo, Marko (2021). Analysis of the Replication Mechanisms of the Human Papillomavirus Genomes. Front. Microbiol., 18 October 2021

Laaneväli, Airiin; Ustav, Mart; Ustav, Ene; Piirsoo, Marko (2019). E2 protein is the major determinant of specificity at the human papillomavirus origin of replication. PLoS ONE.


Indrek Saar
Photo: Liina Niinemägi

PhD student/Junior Research Fellow

During my Bachelor and Master studies I have carried out research in material sciences in University of Tartu, Estonia and in Åbo Akademi University in Finland.

My interests in science:

I like scientific problem solving and experimenting as well as I want to discover/develop something new and useful. To do something that hasn’t been done before.

My non-scientific hobbies are at the moment history, sports but during years there have been interests from several different fields.

Published research:

• Evard, Hanno; Priks, Hans; Saar, Indrek; Aavola, Heili; Tamm, Tarmo; Leito, Ivo (2021). A New Direction in Microfluidics: Printed Porous Materials. Micromachines, 12 (6), ARTN 671.

• Yrjana, Ville; Saar, Indrek; Ilisson, Mihkel; Kadam, Sandip A.; Leito, Ivo; Bobacka, Johan (2021). Potentiometric Carboxylate Sensors Based on Carbazole-Derived Acyclic and Macrocyclic Ionophores. Chemosensors, 9 (1), 4. 

• Rüütel, Alo; Yrjana, Ville; Kadam, Sandip A.; Saar, Indrek; Ilisson, Mihkel; Darnell, Astrid; Haav, Kristjan; Haljasorg, Tõiv; Toom, Lauri; Bobacka, Johan; Leito, Ivo (2020). Design, synthesis and application of carbazole macrocycles in anion sensors. Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, 16, 1901−1914. 


Naila Nasirova
Photo: Liina Niinemägi

PhD student/Junior Research Fellow

I graduated from Azerbaijan State University of Oil and Industry with a bachelor’s degree in Metrology, Standardization, and Certification Engineering. I completed my master’s degree in Applied Measurement Science at the University of Tartu.

My interests in science:

I am keen on practicing and improving my knowledge in different areas of chemistry. Working in the Microfluidics research group a multidisciplinary field comprising physics, chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, etc., gives me the opportunity to work on something new, creative and pursue my interests.

My non-scientific interests:

I love traveling and exploring new places. I am keen on learning photography. Cooking and making up new dishes is one of my hobbies.

I like doing different kinds of sport. Also, in my free time, I learn languages.

Published research (Master’s thesis) at the University’s website.


Heili Aavola
Photo: Liina Niinemägi

BSc student

„I do science experiments to broaden my horizons,” Heili.

At the moment I am doing my Bachelor studies in Tartu University, Chair of Analytical Chemistry. During middle- and high school I took part in many Olympiads: chemistry, maths, physics, biology, art and gained a pretty in-depth understanding of these disciplines for my age at the time.

My interests in science:

The thing that pulls me towards science is its ability to help me understand how the world around us functions. That’s why I chose the path of studying chemistry. Chemistry is the study of matter and its interactions with other matter and energy. However, anyone can understand on a surface level of how things work, but I’ve always wanted to know things in depth.


For 11 years of my life I have studied music, mainly playing the violin. Also went to arts school, where I learned about compositions and designs suitable for the human eye.

At the moment my other interests are: hiking, running, orienteering, and bouldering.

Published research:

• Evard, Hanno; Priks, Hans; Saar, Indrek; Aavola, Heili; Tamm, Tarmo; Leito, Ivo (2021). A New Direction in Microfluidics: Printed Porous Materials. Micromachines, 12 (6), ARTN 671.