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PHOTO: Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis
Developing novel polymerisable building blocks for Molecular Imprinting for applications in bioanalysis, affinity separations, sensors, catalysis, and polymeric sorbents for environmental clean-up. Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis
Senior Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry
Office: DKB 0G.415 I Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4515 I @pmanesiotis



Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs)

The principle idea behind Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP) synthesis is the generation of solution state complexes between the template ligand in hand and appropriate functional monomers, followed by subsequent "freezing" of these complexes by co-polymerisation of the above with an excess of a cross-linking monomer. These monomer – template complexes are stabilised by non-covalent interactions, reversible covalent interactions or metal ion mediated interactions. The types of interactions that are usually exploited in molecular imprinting are: a) hydrogen bonds, b) π-π interactions, c) ionic forces, d) hydrophobic interactions, e) van der Waals forces, f) metal-ligand bonds, g) cleavable covalent bonds.

The non-covalent or "self-assembly" approach is the most widely applied mode in molecular imprinting. The template is mixed with monomers and cross-linkers in an appropriate solvent. In this pre-polymerisation mixture, complexes of the template with the monomers are formed as a result of polar interactions such as hydrogen bonds, ionic interactions, Van der Waals forces etc. The strength of these interactions and the resulting complexes is of vital importance for the templating effect in the final polymer.


Our research focuses on the development and application of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers targeting compounds of environmental, pharmaceutical and biological interest, using custom synthesised functional monomers. Such monomers exhibit superior complementarity to the compounds of interest, enabling us to access materials able to achieve selective compound extraction from competitive media and complicated samples.

Depending on the desired application, MIPs can be formulated as amorphous broadly sized particles (SPE, CSPs), narrowly dispersed spherical beads (HPLC), monoliths, membranes (filtration), or thin films (sensors).





Polymerisable molecular recognition elements and optical sensors

We are interested in the development of novel, polymerisable receptors tailored to the recognition of specific target compounds. Thus, we have developed a range of custom functional monomers with selectivity for imides, carboxylic acids, carboxylate anions and ureas, among others. Apart from superior selectivity and affintiy, customisation of our recognition elements enables sensing applications of the resulting MIPs, which are able to signal the binding event by a change in colour, fluorescence or electrical properties. Recently, our group reported on the first example of polymersable squaramides and demostrated their potential in the binding and sension of anionic species.



This work resulted in P_Sense, a project aiming to develop and commercialise an optical sensor for phosphate. You can find out more about this project at the project website or follow us on Twitter @P_Sense_.




Recognition of whole cells and micro-organisms

We have recently started working on the application of custom functional monomers for the capture of whole cells and micro-organisms. In particular we are interested in the development of materials and surfaces complementary to Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs). More information about this exciting area of research within the group can be found in our recent review in Advanced Materials.


Recovery and recycling of valuable resources from waste streams

Working in collaboration with Dr John McGrath from the School of Biological Sciences and Prof. Vincent O' Flaherty from NUI Galway, we are developing novel sorbents for the recovery and recycling of valuable chemical compounds from waste-water streams and anaerobic digestion systems using renewable biopolymers as starting materials. This work is funded by Invest NI, SFI-DEL, DPTC and the EPA.

AD Manesiotis

Research Group

Post-Doctoral Researchers PhD Students
Dr Magdalena Serkis-Rodzen Amanda Bole
Dr Luciana Minieri  Federica Pessagno
Dr Leila Moura Pia McAleenan
Dr Sudhirkumar Shinde Niall Corry
  Andrew McClure
  Joshua O'Hagan

Work with us

Apart from our advertised research positions, we strongly encourage potential co-workers to secure their own research funds. Potential funding sources include:

If you are interested in preparing a research application, please contact Dr P. Manesiotis directly to discuss.

Recent Publications

Full publication list available on Pure

"Rapid photocatalytic degradation of MCPA using low-power UV LED irradiation: investigation of the reaction mechanism and the role of pH"
J. Kelly, G. Morrison, N. Skillen, P. Manesiotis, P. Robertson, Chem. Eng. J. 2018 (accepted). View

"Preparation and Characterization of Beclomethasone Dipropionate Solvates"
C. Weiss, P. McLoughlin, P. Manesiotis, L. Redington and H. Cathcart, Crys. Chrowth. Des. 2018 18(10), 5832-5844. View

"Molecular ‘traps’ for sulfonylureas prepared using polymerisable ion-pair receptors"
F. Pessagno, A. Nur Hasanah, P. Manesiotis, RSC Adv. 2018, 8, 14212-14220 (Open Access). View

"Evolutionary clade affects resistance of Clostridium difficile spores to Cold Atmospheric Plasma"
M. Connor, P. Flynn, D. Fairley, N. Marks, P. Manesiotis, W. Graham, B. Gilmore and J. W. McGrath Sci. Rep. 2017, Article 41814 View

"Biological phosphorus removal during high-rate, low-temperature, anaerobic digestion of wastewater"
C. Keating, J.P. Chin, D. Hughes, P. Manesiotis, D. Cysneiros, T. Mahony, C.J. Smith, J.W. McGrath, V. O'Flaherty, Frontiers in Microbiology 2016, 7, Article 226 (Open Access). View

"Chromatography: High Performance Liquid Chromatography”
H. Gika, G. Kaklamanos, P. Manesiotis and G. Theodoridis, in Encyclopedia of Food and Health, 93-99, Elsevier 2016View

"Advanced materials for recognition and capture of whole cells and microorganisms"
A. Bole and P. Manesiotis, Adv. Mater. 2016 28(27), 5349-5366. View

"Stoichiometric Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for the Recognition of Anti-Cancer Pro-drug Tegafur"
P. Mattos dos Santos, A. J. Hall and P. Manesiotis, J. Chromatogr. B 2016 1021, 197-203.  View

"Tetrabutylammonium methacrylate as a novel receptor for selective extraction of sulphonylurea drugs from biological fluids using molecular imprinting"
A. N. Hasanah, F. Pessagno, R. E. Kartasasmita, S. Ibrahim and P. Manesiotis, J. Mater. Chem. B 2015, 3, 8577-8583 (Open Access). View

"Polymorphism in sulfadimidine/4-aminosalicylic acid cocrystals: solid state characterization and physicochemical properties"
C. Grossjohann, D. R. Serrano, K. J. Paluch, P. O’Connell, L. Vella-Zarb, P. Manesiotis, T. McCabe, L. Tajber, O.I. Corrigan, and A.M. Healy, J. Pharm. Sci. 2015, 104(4), 1385-1398. View

"Polymerisable squaramide receptors for anion binding and sensing"
P. Manesiotis, A. Riley and B. Bolen, J. Mater. Chem. C 2014, 2(42), 8990-8995 (Open Access). View

"Artificial receptors for the extraction of nucleoside metabolite 7-methylguanosine from aqueous media made by molecular imprinting"
A. Krstulja, C. De Schutter, P. Favetta, P. Manesiotis and L.A. Agrofoglio, J. Chromatogr. A 2014, 1365, 12-18. View

"Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for the isolation of wound healing agents from plant extracts”
S. K. Tsermentseli, P. Manesiotis, A. Assimopoulou and V. P. Papageorgiou, J. Chromatogr. A 2013, 1315, 15-20. View 

"Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for Corticosteroids: Impact of polymer format on recognition behaviour”
L. Fitzhenry, P. Manesiotis, P. Duggan and P. McLoughlin, Microchimica Acta 2013, 180, 1421-1431. View

"Twenty years since ‘antibody mimics’ by molecular imprinting were first proposed: A critical perspective"
J. L. Bowen, P. Manesiotis and C. J. Allender, Molecular Imprinting 2013, 1, 35-40. View
"Molecularly imprinted polymers for the extraction of imiquimod from biological samples using a template analogue strategy"
P. Manesiotis, S. Kashani and P. McLoughlin, Anal. Methods 2013, 5, 3122-3128. View

Pure Profile


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