Dr Kieran Nolan


PhD – 1996 York University
1996-1997 Research Chemist Novopharm Lmt. Toronto Canada.
1997-1998 Lead Formulation Chemist Chemlan Chemicals Toronto/South Carolina
1998-2001 Research Associate DCU/NCSR
2001-2012 Assistant Professor School of Chemical Sciences
2012 – present Associate Professor DCU
2014- 2018 Head of School of Chemical Sciences

Research Expertise

PhD Students

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

Select Publications

Molecularly imprinted polymers—potential and challenges in analytical chemistry
  JO Mahony, K Nolan, MR Smyth, B Mizaikoff      2005      Analytica Chimica Acta
Lipophilic BODIPY fluorphores, in which the BODIPY core bears pendant dipyrido[3,2-a:2′,3′-c]phenazine (Dppz) or naphthyridyl and cholesterol substituents were designed and prepared as lipid probes for both liposomes and live cell imaging. The probes are non-emissive in water but permeate both GUV and live cell membranes and provide high contrast fluorescence and lifetime imaging of membranous structures and lipid droplets in cells and are suitable for FCS measurements on lipid membranes. © 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

Among the variety of biomimetic recognition schemes utilizing supramolecular approaches molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) have proven their potential as synthetic receptors in numerous applications ranging from liquid chromatography to assays and sensor technology. Their inherent advantages compared to biochemical/biological recognition systems include robustness, storage endurance and lower costs. However, until recently only few contributions throughout the relevant literature describe quantitative analytical applications of MIPs for practically relevant analyte molecules and real-world samples. Increased motivation to thoroughly evaluate the true potential of MIP technology is clearly attributed to the demands of modern analytical chemistry, which include enhanced sensitivity, selectivity and applicability of molecular recognition building blocks at decreasing costs. In particular, the areas of environmental monitoring, food and beverage analysis and industrial process surveillance require analytical tools capable of discriminating chemicals with high molecular specificity considering increasing numbers of complex environmental contaminants, pollution of raw products and rigorous quality control requested by legislation and consumer protection. Furthermore, efficient product improvement and development of new products requires precise qualitative and quantitative analytical methods. Finally, environmental, food and process safety control issues favor the application of on-line in situ analytical methods with high molecular selectivity. While biorecognition schemes frequently suffer from degrading bioactivity and long-term stability when applied in real-world sample environments, MIPs serving as synthetic antibodies have successfully been applied as stationary phase separation matrix (e.g. HPLC and SPE), recognition component in bioassays (e.g. ELISA) or biomimetic recognition layer in chemical sensor systems. Examples such as MIP-based selective analysis of flavones/flavonoids in wine, the determination of mycotoxins in beverages and analysis of organic contaminants in environment samples will elucidate the perspectives of this technology and will be contrasted with the challenges of rational MIP design providing control on binding site density, receptor capacity and selectivity.


Treatment options for wastewater effluents from pharmaceutical companies
  AM Deegan, B Shaik, K Nolan, K Urell, M Oelgemöller, J Tobin, A Morrissey      2011      International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology
Detailed studies on the live cell uptake properties of a dinuclear membrane-permeable RuII cell probe show that, at low concentrations, the complex localizes and images mitochondria. At concentrations above ∼20 μM, the complex images nuclear DNA. Because the complex is extremely photostable, has a large Stokes shift, and displays intrinsic subcellular targeting, its compatibility with super-resolution techniques was investigated. It was found to be very well suited to image mitochondria and nuclear chromatin in two color, 2C-SIM, and STED and 3D-STED, both in fixed and live cells. In particular, due to its vastly improved photostability compared to that of conventional SR probes, it can provide images of nuclear DNA at unprecedented resolution.

In recent years, concerns about the occurrence and fate of active pharmaceutical ingredients, solvents, intermediates and raw materials that could be present in water and wastewater including pharmaceutical industry wastewater has gained increasing attention. Traditional wastewater treatment methods, such as activated sludge, are not sufficient for the complete removal of active pharmaceutical ingredients and other wastewater constituents from these waters. As a result, complementary treatment methods such as membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and activated carbon are often used in conjunction with the traditional methods for treatment of industrial wastewater. Most of the literature published to date has been on the treatment of municipal wastewater. However, there is a growing body of research that looks at the presence of active pharmaceutical ingredients in industrial wastewater, the treatment of these wastewaters and the removal rates. This article, reviews these treatment methods and includes both traditional methods and advanced oxidation processes. The paper concludes by showing that the problem of pharmaceuticals in wastewaters cannot be solved merely by adopting end of pipe measures. At source measures, such as replacement of critical chemicals, reduction in raw material consumption should continue to be pursued as the top priority.


Important calixarene derivatives—their synthesis and applications
  G McMahon, S O’Malley, K Nolan, D Diamond      2003      Arkivoc

Since their discovery as by-products in the phenol-formaldehyde condensation to prepare bakelites, the calixarenes have gained much attention for their application as both surfactants and chemoreceptors. The McKervey group has been a leader in the development and synthesis of new and novel calixarenes for use as ion-complexing agents as well as for use in many other applications. Many calixarene derivatives prepared by the McKervey group are being used in both environmental and biomedical monitoring. This review covers both the synthesis and sensor applications of the various calixarenes developed by the McKervey group over the past two decades, with emphasis on metal cation detection.


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