Colin Raston has made seminal contributions to inorganic, organometallic, supramolecular and green chemistry, nanoscience, nanotechnology and flow chemistry. These discoveries and innovations culminated in his development of the Vortex Fluidic Device (VFD). The VFD is a thin film microfluidic platform with diverse applications including, protein separation and folding, controlling chemical reactivity and selectivity, probing the structure of self-organised systems and synthesising nano-materials. The result is a new paradigm in continuous flow chemistry. Raston’s invention gained wide publicity through the shared award in 2015 of an Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry for ‘unboiling an egg’.