profile image for Dr Andrew J Hall

Dr Andrew J Hall

Acting Head of Chemistry & Drug Delivery, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry

Medway School of Pharmacy


Andy obtained his BSc (Hons) in Applied Chemistry from the University of Aston in 1990 and received his PhD (Chemistry) from the same institution in 1995. 

He then held post-doctoral research positions at the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester, before moving to the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany to take up an EU-TMR fellowship in 1999. After three years in Mainz, Andy moved to the Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Dortmund, Germany, again as a research fellow. In 2006, Andy was appointed to his first academic position as a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Sunderland’s Pharmacy School. 

Andy joined Medway School of Pharmacy as a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry in September 2009, serving on the Academic Council of the University of Greenwich (2011-2014). Within the School, Andy has had a number of roles, including Head of Examinations & Assessments (2011-2016) and Director of Undergraduate Studies (2015-2016). From 2014 -2017, he established and acted as Programme Leader for the Foundation/Bachelor Degree in Applied Chemical Sciences for Laboratory Scientist, a distance/blended learning programme forming part of the University’s Degree and Higher Apprenticeships programmes.

Since January 2017, Andy has been Acting Head of the School’s Chemistry & Drug Delivery section and is the School’s Director of Innovation since August 2018.

Andy’s research focusses on polymer and materials chemistry, with emphasis on the application of these materials. He is the author of>40 high quality research publications (>1800 citations, h-index = 23 [Scopus]), along with reviews and contributions to a number of books. He is also named as an inventor on nine granted patents.

Externally, Andy is a board member of the Society for Molecular Imprinting, co-organiser of the GSSMIP series of early career researcher conferences and a Visiting Professor at the University of Toulon, France (2017 & 2019).

Andy currently supervises one PhD student.


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Andy’s research focusses on polymer and materials chemistry, with a particular interest in molecular recognition (supramolecular chemistry) and materials applications. Of particular interest is the marriage of these two areas for the synthesis of macromolecular receptors via the technique of molecular imprinting.

Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are an example of template-synthesised materials, which differ from this general class in that removal of the template leaves behind cavities that are complementary to the template in terms of size, shape and functionality. This field can be viewed as a marriage of supramolecular and polymer chemistry.  MIPs have been proposed for use in many application areas, e.g. selective separations, sensing, drug discovery, targeted drug delivery and enzyme-like catalysis. Andy is currently working on the design and synthesis of novel functional and cross-linking monomers, together with the fabrication of nanoscale materials for use in medical diagnostics.

Continuing the supramolecular chemistry theme, Andy is also researching into the design and synthesis of low molecular weight gelators. These are compounds whose self-assembly leads to the formation of fibrils that induce solvent gelation. He is particularly interested in compounds able to gel water at low concentration to form hydrogels, which have potential application in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, food and cosmetics industries.

Andy is also engaged in the creation of nanoscale materials for the colorimetric/fluorimetric detection of bacteria, with the aim of increasing the speed and selectivity of diagnosis of bacterial infections.

Current Projects

Design and Synthesis of Novel Monomers for Molecular Recognition and Crosslinking

The success of molecular imprinting as a technology has been based largely on the use of just one functional monomer, methacrylic acid (MAA), and one cross-linking monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EDMA). While the MAA/EDMA systems undoubtedly lead to MIPs demonstrating high affinity for their targets, these high affinity binding sites tend to be in short supply. Non-specific binding can also be a problem for anything other than (trace) analytical applications.

One potential solution to these problems is the identification and synthesis of functional monomers tailored to particular functional groups or even to individual templates. This requires some synthetic organic chemistry effort but many benefits may be derived from creating such bespoke functional monomer solutions. These benefits include higher yields of higher affinity sites and the ability to incorporate secondary features into the monomers, e.g. optical read-out of binding events, cross-linking, etc.

We are also interested in moving to more functional crosslinking monomers, made primarily from bio-renewable resources, again with a view to enhance selectivity and reduce non-specific binding.

Former group member:

  • Dr. Stefania Lettieri (2011-2015) - now a post-doctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Silvia Giordani at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy.

Former visiting scientists:

  • Dr Aleksandra Krstulja (2013) - University of Orléans, France.
  • Dr Zsanett Dorko (2015) - Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary.

Current visiting scientists:

  • Ms Lise Desquien & Ms Orane Dollet (2018) - ENSCL, France.

External collaborators:

Nanoprobes for Bacterial Detection

The rapid, specific and selective detection and diagnosis of bacterial infections remains a major challenge in both human and veterinary medicine. The majority of molecular probes for bacterial detection suffer from low sensitivities. The ideal probe would be able to detect small numbers of bacteria, both in vitro and in vivo. It should also be able to differentiate not only different bacteria, but also bacterial infections from other pathologies.

We are aiming to address these issues through the development of sensitive, specific and rapid detection methods for bacterial species through the design, synthesis and application of nanoscale colorimetric/fluorimetric probes.

Former group member:

  • Dr Giorgia Giovannini (2014 - 2017) - now a post-doctoral fellow at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy.

Internal collaborator:

Supramolecular Hydrogels

In recent years there has been increased interest in the use of hydrogels arising from the self-assembly of low molecular weight compounds. A number of research groups work on peptide-based gelators and on exploiting proteinogenic building blocks for a wide range of applications, e.g. cell culture.

We are investigating the efficient and scalable preparation of low molecular weight (hydro)gelators based on low-cost, bio-renewable, carbohydrate-based starting materials. Building on existing knowledge of aromatic carbohydrate amphiphiles, we are currently designing and preparing compounds via short synthetic routes and then assessing their potential as hydro- and organogelators.

We are pursuing the use of our materials in a range of biomedical, cosmetics and foodstuffs applications.

PhD students:

  • Miguel Amaro Villegas (2018-present).

Former group members:

  • Carmen Piras (2013 - 2016) - now a post-doctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Wim de Borggraeve at KU Leuven, Belgium.
  • Efstratios Sitsanidis (2015 – 2018) - now a project researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Former visiting scientists:

  • Ms Violette Le Guennec (2016) - ENSCL, France.
  • Ms Ambre Pignon & Ms Jeanne Silvestre (2015) - ENSCL, France.

Internal collaborator:

External collaborators:

Smart Silica Nanoparticles

Nanomaterial research continues to expand and capture the interest of both industry and the general public.  Indeed, demand for these materials is estimated to rise to US$5.5 billion in 2016 (from US$1 billion in 2013). However, the full potential of NPs in applications in the biomedical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic arenas will only be realised if their surfaces are efficiently coated with bio-recognition elements, e.g. antibodies. Traditional coating approaches are either unreliable or fail, due to the low compatibility of the NP surface and the active sites of the antibodies. Given the expense of antibodies, this problem becomes extremely important at industrial scales.

We are aiming to address these problems by using molecular imprinting as a new strategy to “fix” antibodies to NP surfaces and to test the resulting NPs in a variety of assays aimed at both diagnostic and targeted drug delivery applications.

Former group member:

  • Dr. Filip Kunč (2013 - 2017) - now a research associate at Measurement Science and Standards, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Canada.

Internal collaborators:

Scholarly Activities

Andy has contributed a chapter on the Properties of aliphatic hydrocarbons to the textbook “Pharmaceutical Chemistry”, 2013, Barber & Rostron (Eds), one of the four titles in the OUP Integrated Foundations of Pharmacy series.

Andy has also engaged with the Nuffield Foundation as a provider of Nuffield Research Placements. Since summer 2012, local 6th form students having spent their summer holidays working in his laboratories, gaining an insight into the world of chemistry research and (hopefully!) enthusing them to continue with STEM careers.

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  • Giovannini G, Hall AJ, Gubala V (2018). Coumarin-based, switchable fluorescent substrates for enzymatic bacterial detection. Talanta 188: 448-453.​ DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2018.06.018.
  • Giovannini G, Warncke P, Fischer D, Stranik O, Hall AJ, Gubala V (2018). Improving Colloidal Stability of Silica Nanoparticles when Stored in Responsive Gel: Application and Toxicity Study. Nanotoxicology 12: 407-422. DOI: 10.1080/17435390.2018.1457729
  • Krstulja A, Lettieri S, Hall AJ, Favetta P, Roy V, Agrofoglio LA (2017). Tailor-Made Molecularly Imprinted Polymer for Selective Recognition of the Urinary Tumor Marker Pseudouridine. Macromolecular Biosci.17: 1700250. DOI:10.1002/mabi.201700250.
  • Giovannini G, Kunc K, Piras CC, Stranik O, Edwards AA, Hall AJ, Gubala V (2017). Stabilizing Silica Nanoparticles in Hydrogel: Impact on storage and polydispersity. RSC Advances 7: 19924-19933. DOI: 10.1039/C7RA02427D.
  • Krstulja A, Lettieri S, Hall AJ, Delépée R, Favetta P, Agrofoglio LA (2014). Evaluation of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers using 2’,3’,5’-Tri-O-acyl-Uridines as Templates for Pyrimidine Nucleoside Recognition. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 406: 6275-6284. DOI: 10.1007/s00216-014-8017-z.
  • Urraca JL, Hall AJ, Moreno-Bondi MC, Sellergren, B (2006) A Stoichiometric Molecularly Imprinted Polymer for the Class-Selective Recognition of Antibiotics in Aqueous Media.  Angew. Chem. 118: 5282-5285; Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl. 45: 5158-5161. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200601636.
  • Manesiotis P, Hall, AJ, Courtois J, Irgum K Sellergren B (2005). An Artificial Riboflavin Receptor Prepared via a Template Analogue Imprinting Strategy. Angew. Chem. 117: 3970-3974; Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl.  44: 3902-3906. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200500342.
  • Sellergren B, Rückert B, Hall AJ (2002). Layer-by-Layer Grafting of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers via Iniferter Modified Supports. Adv. Mater. 14: 1204-1208. DOI: 10.1002/1521-4095(20020903)14:17<1204::AID-ADMA1204>3.0.CO;2-O.
  • Sulitzky C, Rückert B, Hall AJ, Lanza F, Unger KK, Sellergren B (2002). Grafting of Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Films on Silica Supports Containing Surface-Bound Free Radical Initiators. Macromolecules 35: 79-91. DOI: 10.1021/ma011303w.

Review Articles

  • Hall, A.J; Hodge, P. Recent Research on the Synthesis and Applications of Cyclic Oligomers. React. Funct. Polymers, 1999, 41, 133-139.
  • Hall, A.; Nugent, D.A.; Sherrington D.C. Pumice as an Aid in Industrial Chemistry. Current Topics in Catalysis, 1997, 1, 61-71.

Book Chapters

  • Sellergren B, Hall AJ (2013). Synthetic Chemistry in Molecular Imprinting. In Molecular Imprinting: Principles and Applications of Micro- and Nanostructured Polymers, Ye L (Ed). Pan Stanford Publishing Pte Ltd, Singapore; pp 25-65. DOI: 10.4032/9789814364874
  • Sellergren B, Hall AJ (2012). In Supramolecular Chemistry: from Molecules to Nanomaterials,Steed JW, Gale PA, Eds; John Wiley & Sons Ltd: Chichester, UK; pp 3255-3282. DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc137.
  • Hall AJ, Emgenbroich M, Sellergren, B (2005).  In Templates in Chemistry II, Top Curr Chem 249: 317-349. Schalley CA, Dötz K-H, Vögtle F (Eds). Springer-Verlag: Heidelberg, Germany. DOI: 10.1007/b104333.
  • Sellergren B, Hall AJ (2001). In Molecularly Imprinted Polymers: Man-Made Mimics of Antibodies and Their Applications in Analytical Chemistry,Techniques and instrumentation in analytical chemistry, Vol. 23, Sellergren B (Ed). Elsevier Science B.V.: Amsterdam; pp 21-57. DOI: 10.1016/S0167-9244(01)80005-6.


  • Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for the Capture of Biotin. AJ Hall. European Patent 2888246.
  • Molecularly Imprinted Polymers. AJ Hall. US Patent 9464150.
  • Imprinted Polymers with Affinity for Phosphorylated Proteins and Peptides. B Sellergren, M Emgenbroich, AJ Hall. US Patent 9329186.
  • Molecularly imprinted surfaces using surface-bound templates. B Sellergren, MM Titirici, AJ Hall
    US Patent 9035025.
  • Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for Extraction of Components from Foodstruffs. B Sellergren, P Manesiotis, AJ Hall. US Patent 7750090.
  • Functional Monomers for Molecular Recognition and Catalysis. AJ Hall, B Sellergren, R Karmalkar, K Chenon. US Patent 7332553. Divisional Application of Patent 1.
  • Functional Monomers for Molecular Recognition and Catalysis. AJ Hall, B Sellergren, R Karmalkar, K Chenon. US Patent 7208557. Divisional Application of Patent 1.
  • Functional Monomers for Molecular Recognition and Catalysis. AJ Hall, B Sellergren, R Karmalkar, K Chenon. European Patent 1250315.
  • Functional Monomers for Molecular Recognition and Catalysis. AJ Hall, B Sellergren, R Karmalkar, K Chenon. US Patent 6870021.

Full List of Publications

Research Publications

  • Kunc F, Moore CJ, Sully RE, Hall AJ, Gubala V (2019). Polycarboxylated dextran as a multi-valent linker: synthesis and target recognition of the antibody-nanparticle bioconjugates in PBS and serum. Langmuir 35: 4909-4917.  DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b03833
  • Giovannini G, Moore C, Hall AJ, Byrne HJ, Gubala V (2018). Silica nanoparticle dissolution and cargo release at gastrointestinal pH. Colloids Surf. B Biointerfaces 169: 242-248. DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2018.04.064
  • Sitsanidis ED, Piras CC, Alexander BD, Siligardi G, Javorfi T, Hall AJ, Edwards AA (2018). Circular dichroism studies of low molecular weight hydrogelators: addressing practical issues. Chirality 30: 708-718. DOI: 10.1002/chir.22850
  • Lim KF, Hall AJ, Lettieri S, Holdsworth CI (2018). Assessment of the Imprinting Efficiency of an Imide with a ‘Stoichiometric’ Pyridine-based Functional Monomer in Precipitation Polymerization. J. Mol. Recog. 31: e2655. DOI:10.1002/jmr.2655.
  • Moore C, Giovannini G, Kunc F, Hall AJ, Gubala V (2017). ‘Overloading’ fluorescent silica nanoparticles with dyes to improve biosensor performance. J. Mater. Chem. B 5: 5564-5572. DOI: 10.1039/c7tb01284e.
  • Mattos dos Santos P, Hall AJ, Manesiotis P (2016). Stoichiometric Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for the Recognition of Anti-Cancer Pro-drug Tegafur. J. Chromatogr. B 1021: 197-203. DOI: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2015.12.015.
  • Li B, Xu J, Hall AJ, Haupt K, Tse Sum Bui B (2014). Water-compatible silica sol–gel molecularly imprinted polymer as a potential delivery system for the controlled release of salicylic acid. J. Mol. Recog. 27: 559-565. DOI: 10.1002/jmr.2383.
  • Váradi L, Gray M, Groundwater PW, Hall AJ, James AL, Orenga S, Perry JD, Anderson RJ (2012). Synthesis and evaluation of fluorogenic 2-amino-1,8-naphthyridine derivatives for the detection of bacteria. Org. Biomol. Chem. 10: 2578-2589. DOI: 10.1039/c2ob06986e.
  • Emgenbroich M, Borrelli C, Lazraq I, Vilela F, Hall AJ, Oxelbark J, De Lorenzi E, Courtois J, Irgum K, Karim K, Sellergren B (2008). A pTyr-imprinted polymer receptor for recognition of tyrosine-phosphorylated peptides. Chem. Eur. J. 14: 9516-9529. DOI: 10.1002/chem.200801046.
  • Kamau SD, Hodge P, Hall AJ, Dad S, Ben-Haida A (2007). Cyclo-depolymerization of olefin-containing polymers to give macrocyclic oligomers by metathesis and the entropically-driven ROMP of the olefin-containing macrocyclic esters. Polymer 48: 6808-6822. DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2007.09.014.
  • Urraca JL, Moreno-Bondi MC, Orellana G, Sellergren B, Hall AJ (2007).  Molecularly imprinted polymers as antibody mimics in automated on-line fluorescent competitive assays. Anal. Chem. 79: 4915-4923. DOI: 10.1021/ac070277i.
  • Urraca, JL, Moreno-Bondi MC, Hall AJ, Sellergren B (2007). Direct Extraction of Penicillin G and Derivatives from Aqueous Samples using a Stoichiometrically Imprinted Polymer. Anal. Chem. 79: 695-701. DOI: 10.1021/ac061622r.
  • Skogsberg U, Meyer C, Rehbein J, Fischer G, Schauff S, Welsch N, Albert K, Hall AJ, Sellergren B (2007). A Solid-State and Suspended-State Magic Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Investigation of a 9-Ethyladenine Molecularly Imprinted Polymer. Polymer 48: 229-238. DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2006.10.036.
  • Hall AJ, Quaglia M, Manesiotis P, Achilli L, De Lorenzi E, Sellergren B (2006).  Polymeric Receptors for the Recognition of Folic Acid and Related Compounds via Substructure Imprinting (IV). Anal. Chem. 78: 8362–8367. DOI: 10.1021/ac0615652.
  • Hall A, Hodge P, Kamau SD, Ben-Haida A (2006). Acyclic Diene Metathesis (ADMET) Polymerization of Allyl Undec-10-enoate and Some Related Esters. J. Organomet. Chem. 691: 5431–5437. DOI: 10.1016/j.jorganchem.2006.09.020.
  • Hall AJ, Lanza-Sellergren F, Manesiotis P, Sellergren B (2005). Non-Covalent Imprinting of Phosphorous Esters. Anal. Chim. Acta 538: 9-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2005.02.030.
  • Manesiotis P, Hall AJ, Sellergren B (2005). Improved Receptors for Imides Based on Novel Fluorescent Donor-Acceptor-Donor Reporter Monomers. J. Org. Chem. 70: 2729-2738. DOI: 10.1021/jo0477906.
  • Hall AJ, Manesiotis P, Emgenbroich M, Quaglia M, De Lorenzi E, Sellergren B (2005). Urea Host Monomers for Stoichiometric Molecular Imprinting of Oxyanions. J. Org. Chem. 2005, 70: 1732-1736. DOI: 10.1021/jo048470p.
  • Manesiotis P, Hall AJ, Emgenbroich M, Quaglia M, De Lorenzi E, Sellergren B (2004). An Enantioselective Imprinted Receptor for Z-glutamate Exhibiting a Binding Induced Color Change.  Chem. Commun. 10: 2278-2279. DOI: 10.1039/b407870e.
  • Hall AJ, Achilli L, Manesiotis P, Quaglia M, De Lorenzi E, Sellergren B (2003). A Substructure Approach Towards Polymeric Receptors Targeting Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitors.  II: Molecularly Imprinted Polymers Against Z-L-Glutamic Acid Showing Affinity for Larger Molecules. J. Org. Chem. 68: 9132-9135. DOI: 10.1021/jo034588e.
  • Titirici MM, Hall AJ, Sellergren B (2003). Hierarchical Imprinting Using Crude Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis Products as Templates. Chem. Mater. 15: 822-824. DOI: 10.1021/cm025770j.
  • Rückert B, Hall AJ, Sellergren B (2002). Molecularly Imprinted Composite Materials via Iniferter Modified Supports. J. Mater. Chem. 12: 2275-2280. DOI: 10.1039/b203115a.
  • Lanza F, Rüther M, Hall AJ, Dauwe C, Sellergren B (2002). Studies on The Process Of Formation, Nature and Stability of Binding Sites in Molecularly Imprinted Polymers. Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 723: 93-103.
  • Hall AJ, Manesiotis P, Mossing JT, Sellergren B (2002). Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) Against Uracils: Functional Monomer Design, Monomer-Template Interactions in Solution and MIP Performance in Chromatography. Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 723: 11-15.
  • Titirici MM, Hall AJ, Sellergren B (2002). Hierarchically Imprinted Stationary Phases: Mesoporous Polymer Beads Containing Surface-Confined Binding Sites for Adenine. Chem. Mater. 14: 21-23. DOI: 10.1021/cm011207+.
  • Bereczki A, Tolokan A, Horvai G, Horvath V, Lanza F, Hall AJ, Sellergren B (2001).  Determination of Phenytoin in Plasma by Molecularly Imprinted Solid-Phase Extraction. J. Chromatogr. A, 930: 31-38. DOI: 10.1016/S0021-9673(01)01190-6.
  • Quaglia M, Chenon K, Hall AJ, De Lorenzi E, Sellergren B (2001). Target Analogue Imprinted Polymers with Affinity for Folic Acid and Related Compounds. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 123: 2146-2154. DOI: 10.1021/ja003505y.
  • Lanza F, Hall AJ, Sellergren B, Bereczki A, Horvai G, Bayoudh S, Cormack PAG, Sherrington DC (2001). Development of a Semi-automated Procedure for the Synthesis and Evaluation of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers Applied to the Search for Functional Monomers for Phenytoin and Nifedipine. Anal. Chim. Acta 435: 91-106. DOI: 10.1016/S0003-2670(01)00905-9.
  • Dad S, Hall AJ, Hodge P (2000). Preparation and Cyclo-depolymerisation (CDP) of Some Olefin-containing Polyesters via Olefin Metathesis.  Polym. Prepr. (Am. Chem. Soc., Div. Polym. Chem.) 40: 466-467.
  • Hall AJ, Hodge P, McGrail CS, Rickerby, J (2000). Synthesis and Depolymerisation of Cyclic Oligo(Alkylidene Isophthalate)s by Cyclo-Depolymerisation. Polymer 41: 1239-1249. DOI: 10.1016/S0032-3861(99)00290-6.
  • Hall AJ, Miller JD (1997). Kinetic and Mechanistic Aspects of Copper (II) Coordination to Bis-N,N'-(salicylidene)-1,2-diaminoethane-Based Hydrogel Polymer Membranes and the Permeation of Cations Through Them. J. Mater. Chem. 7: 727-732. DOI: 10.1039/A606999A.
  • Chaggar R, Hall AJ, Miller JD (1996). Iron (II) Coordination to Bipyridyl-Based Hydrogel Polymers. Polymer 37: 5313-5316. DOI: 10.1016/0032-3861(96)00422-3.

Miscellaneous Articles

  • Emgenbroich, M.; Hall, A.J. 2. Doktorandenseminar über moleckular geprägte Polymere. Nachr. Chem. 2005, Heft 2, 171 (in German).
  • Hall, A.J.; Emgenbroich, M. Symposium über molekular geprägte Polymere. Nachr. Chem. 2004, Heft 4, 477 (in German).


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Last Updated 14/06/2019