Dr David Collins


David Collins graduated with a BEng in Mechatronic Engineering from Dublin City University in 2000, and later completed a part time MEng in Laser Based Surface Metrology in 2005. David has extensive experience in the aerospace, pharmaceutical and medical device industries and from 2007 to 2009 ran a small engineering company offering contract engineering (mechanical, electrical & control system) services.

In 2009 David joined the Irish Separation Science Cluster and completed a PhD in Analytical Chemistry in 2013 under Prof. Brett Paull. Since 2013 David has been a principle investigator within the group and his work focuses on the fabrication of polymeric phases for both liquid and gas chromatography and also on the development of analytical instrumentation.

In May 2016 David took up a lecturing position (Lecturer in Bioprocess Engineering) within the School of Biotechnology.

2016 – Present, Principle Investigator: Portable ion analyser platform – towards rapid on-site analysis of ground, river, and waste waters.

2016 – Present, Principle Investigator: Next generation porous polymeric stationary phases for gas chromatography

Research Expertise

PhD Students

  • PhD Student #1
  • PhD Student #2
  • PhD Student #3

Select Publications

Point-of-Care Compatibility of Ultra-Sensitive Detection Techniques for the Cardiac Biomarker Troponin I—Challenges and Potential Value
  Brian Regan, Richard O'Kennedy, David Collins      2018      Biosensors

Cardiac biomarkers are frequently measured to provide guidance on the well-being of a patient in relation to cardiac health with many assays having been developed and widely utilised in clinical assessment. Effectively treating and managing cardiovascular disease (CVD) relies on swiftly responding to signs of cardiac symptoms, thus providing a basis for enhanced patient management and an overall better health outcome. Ultra-sensitive cardiac biomarker detection techniques play a pivotal role in improving the diagnostic capacity of an assay and thus enabling a better-informed decision. However, currently, the typical approach taken within healthcare depends on centralised laboratories performing analysis of cardiac biomarkers, thus restricting the roll-out of rapid diagnostics. Point-of-care testing (POCT) involves conducting the diagnostic test in the presence of the patient, with a short turnaround time, requiring small sample volumes without compromising the sensitivity of the assay. This technology is ideal for combatting CVD, thus the formulation of ultra-sensitive assays and the design of biosensors will be critically evaluated, focusing on the feasibility of these techniques for point-of-care (POC) integration. Moreover, there are several key factors, which in combination, contribute to the development of ultra-sensitive techniques, namely the incorporation of nanomaterials for sensitivity enhancement and manipulation of labelling methods. This review will explore the latest developments in cardiac biomarker detection, primarily focusing on the detection of cardiac troponin I (cTnI). Highly sensitive detection of cTnI is of paramount importance regarding the rapid rule-in/rule-out of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Thus the challenges encountered during cTnI measurements are outlined in detail to assist in demonstrating the drawbacks of current commercial assays and the obstructions to standardisation. Furthermore, the added benefits of introducing multi-biomarker panels are reviewed, several key biomarkers are evaluated and the analytical benefits provided by multimarkers-based methods are highlighted.


3D printed metal columns for capillary liquid chromatography
  S. Sandron, B. Heery, V. Gupta, D. A. Collins, E. P. Nesterenko, P. N. Nesterenko, M. Talebi, S. Beirne, F. Thompson, G. G. Wallace, D. Brabazon, F. Regan and B. Paull      2014      Fuel Processing Technology

Coiled planar capillary chromatography columns (0.9 mm I.D. × 60 cm L) were 3D printed in stainless steel (316L), and titanium (Ti–6Al–4V) alloys (external dimensions of ∼5 × 30 × 58 mm), and either slurry packed with various sized reversed-phase octadecylsilica particles, or filled with an in situ prepared methacrylate based monolith. Coiled printed columns were coupled directly with 30 × 30 mm Peltier thermoelectric direct contact heater/cooler modules. Preliminary results show the potential of using such 3D printed columns in future portable chromatographic devices.


Porous layer open tubular columns in capillary liquid chromatography
  David Collins, Ekaterina P Nesterenko, Bret Paull      2013      Analyst

This review covers the latest developments and applications of porous layer open tubular columns in capillary liquid chromatography. Here, the authors provide a concise background on the fundamentals of porous layer open tubular columns, their fabrication and application. Over the past two decades, growing interest in the areas of proteomics and hyphenated LC-MS techniques have played a large part in the development of porous layer structures within capillary formats due to their high permeability, excellent efficiency and exceptional peak capacity. This review gives a brief overview of open tubular columns in general, however, it focuses predominantly on the applications of covalently bonded porous layer open tubular columns in liquid chromatography. Open tubular columns containing non-bonded or electrostatically attached layers will not be discussed in detail.


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