Joseph Potkay, PhD

Joseph A. Potkay, MS, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, General Surgery
Research Biomedical Engineer, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Affiliate Faculty, Biomedical Engineering


Joseph Potkay, PhD, is a research assistant professor of surgery. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 2006 under the direction of microsystems pioneer Prof. Ken Wise. Since 2006, he has served as a research investigator at the Department of Veterans Affairs with the goal of bringing the huge potential of micro- and nano-technologies to bear on issues critical to the Veteran population. In 2013, he joined the Department of Surgery at U-M as an adjunct research investigator and was promoted to faculty as a research assistant professor in 2019.

Dr. Potkay has over forty peer-reviewed conference and journal publications, two patents, has presented his research at local, national, and international conferences and has been interviewed by National Public Radio, Nature Magazine, and CNN regarding his artificial lung research. His research was listed as one of seven notable research accomplishments in VA history by VA Chief of Staff in a 2015 VA-wide email, and was mentioned by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Robert Wilkie, during his annual State of the Department of Veterans Affairs address to the U.S. Senate in 2018. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and member of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO), and the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. He has held local, regional, and national research grants including Career Development, SPiRE, and Merit Review Awards from the Department of Veterans Affairs and R21 and R01 awards from NIH. He serves on multiple editorial boards of leading journals in his field and on grant review panels at the VA and NIH.

Dr. Potkay’s research portfolio is focused on developing next generation, long term wearable and implantable artificial lungs that automatically respond to the moment-to-moment needs of the patient. He has active research programs in microfluidic artificial lungs, 3D printed artificial lungs, and smart artificial lung control systems. His research leverages the latest advancements in microfabrication technology, microfluidics, 3D printing, and smart control systems. His research has demonstrated the highest efficiency artificial lung to date, biomimetic artificial vasculatures, the first high resolution, gas permeable 3D printing resin, the first 3D printed microfluidic artificial lung, and the first artificial lung control system compatible with long term operation.

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