Nano- and Micro-sized Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Materials for Analytical Application

University dissertation from Pure and Applied Biochemistry, Lund University

Abstract: Specific molecular recognition materials are important in analytical applications. It has been a longstanding dream for scientific explorers to realise a versatile method to generate materials that can recognize biological and chemical substance of interests. Toward this goal, developing synthetic polymer materials, molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) is one of the most promising approaches. Especially development of nano- and micro-sized MIP material is expected to open up a wide range of application opportunity. New strategies related with preparation of nano- and micro-sized MIP and also their potential in analytical application are described in this thesis. First, methods for preparing uniformly sized MIP microspheres and nanoparticles which are selective to the drug compound, propranolol and the neouropeptide, Leu-enkephalin are described, and the binding properties of the MIPs are investigated. Second, strategies to prepare nano- and micro-sized MIP thin-film and nanofiber composite materials are described. Finally, the obtained nano- and micro-sized MIP materials are applied in competitive binding assay, sample preparation for preconcentrating the analyte and for constructing a QCM-based chemical sensor. The applicability in real sample analyses has been demonstrated in two examples. Preconcentration with the MIP allowed a trace amount of propranolol (3.4 nM) in tap water to be detected by LC/MS/MS, whereas the same drug compound in urine (1 μΜ) could be detected by a rapid non-separation assay based on new scintillation MIP nanofibers.