Dr. Mercedes Vázquez is Assistant Professor in Analytical Chemistry at the School of Chemical Sciences, Dublin City University (DCU), since 2014. She is also a Principal Investigator at the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR), the Advanced Processing Technology Research Centre (APT) and the Water Institute (WI), and a Funded Investigator at I-Form. She received her MSc in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Oviedo (Spain) in 1998. In 1999, she joined the Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry at Åbo Akademi University (Turku, Finland) as an ERASMUS exchange student, where she continued till obtaining her PhD from Åbo Akademi in 2005. During this period, she worked on the development of potentiometric ion sensors based on conducting polymers for various applications such as chemical process control and clinical analysis. In 2006, she took up a postdoctoral position within the Centre for Bioanalytical Sciences (CBAS) at DCU, where she primarily focused on the development of analytical methods and technologies for the rapid screening of very complex media in biopharmaceutical processes. She then joined the Irish Separation Science Cluster (ISSC), DCU, in 2009, where she coordinated a research program focused on the development of novel microfluidic platforms for a wide range of (bio)analytical applications, including biotechnology and environmental analysis.


Miniaturisation and integration of analytical systems for environmental monitoring, point-of-care diagnostics and in-process quality control Microfluidics and Lab-on-a-CD devices for sample preparation, preconcentration and analysis Fast prototyping methods such as 3D printing, integration of particulate/monolithic stationary phases into microfluidic channels, miniaturised electrochemical sensors (amperometric, potentiometric, conductimetric) and dual detection systems, low-cost optical detection systems, fast separation methods by capillary HPLC and microchip electrophoresis.

Projects in the last 5 years:


Project in preparation – project proposal to be submitted to Horizon Europe CL6 topic ZeroPollution-01-03 (Deadline for full proposal submission: 6th October 2021)

DCU partners – Mercedes Vazquez and Fiona Reagan


  • Development of high concentration magnesium composite and elemental production, for process quality control and targeted application.

PhD project ongoing (2019-2023) within the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Advanced Metallic Systems Project, I-Form, Ireland – work partly supported by SFI (18/EPSRCCDT/3584), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/S022635/1) and the industrial partner (Oriel).

Brief description:


  • Microfluidic analytical platforms for on-site analysis of herbicides.

MSc project ongoing (2019-2021) – work partly supported by the School of Chemical Sciences and the Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund (Royal Society of Chemistry) through the Community for Analytical Measurement Science (CAMS) Fellowship 2019 (Ref. 600310/01).

Brief description:

Project focused on the integration of a colorimetric method for detection of glyphosate into a 3D printed microfluidic disc coupled to smartphone-based detection. The colorimetric method was based on the use of citrate-capped copper nanoparticles (cc-CuNPs) as nanozymes to catalyse a chromogenic reaction, i.e. the oxidisation of 3,3’,5,5’-tetramethylbenzidine in the presence of hydrogen peroxide,. cc-CuNPs were chemically sinthesised and characterised by FESEM, DLS, FTIR and UV-Vis.

  • Coupling of mobile phone camera-based detection systems with microfluidic analytical platforms for on-site analysis of herbicides.

Project completed (2019-2020) – work funded by the Community for Analytical Measurement Science (CAMS) Fellowship 2019 (Ref. 600310/01), Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund (Royal Society of Chemistry).

Brief description:

Project focused on the development of a novel microfluidic platform integrating a low-cost detection system, i.e. a mobile phone camera, capable of measuring low concentrations of the widely used herbicide glyphosate in fresh waters via a colorimetric reaction. The microhanneI design was also implemented for integration of solid-phase extraction columns for analyte preconcentration to improve sensitivity.

  • Nano-structured high-resolution ultra-thin layer chromatography systems

PhD Project completed (2013-2017) – work funded by Science Foundation Ireland (12/IA/1576)

Brief description:

Project focused on the development of more efficient and cost effective chromatographic systems by laser micromachining.

  • EU COST Action CA16215 “European network for the promotion of portable, affordable and simple analytical platforms (PortASAP)”

Project ongoing (2017-2022) – worked funded by EU COST Association

Brief description:

Work focused on promoting awareness regarding the potential of low-cost analytical instrumentation as well as on integration of microfluidics with the latest trends on sample preparation methods and principles to produce cheap and portable analytical solutions.

  • Immobilisation of catalysts in micro- and nano- devices

Project completed (2017) – Traineeship project with Ecole National Superieure de Chimie de Rennes, France

Brief description:

Project focused on the immobilisation of an ion-selective molecule in microfluidic channels via grafting of a monolith polymerized in-situ within the microchannels.

  • Porous Polymer Monolithic Columns in Microfluidic Chips for Capillary Electrochromatography of Proteins

Master Project completed (2017) in collaboration with the University of Oviedo, Spain – Internship funded by the EU Erasmus+

Brief description:

Project focused on the development of a 3D printed microchip integrating a polymeric monolith as a stationary phase for protein separation by capillary electrochromatography..

Contact details:

Phone number: 01 700 7602
Email Address:
Campus: Glasnevin Campus
Room Number: X122

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