Abstract: A molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) tailored for the HPLC determination of the fungicide thiabendazole (TBZ) has been synthesised in one single preparative step by precipitation polymerisation in an acetonitrile/toluene co-solvent, using TBZ as template molecule, methacrylic acid as functional monomer and divinylbenzene-80 as crosslinker. The imprinted polymer particulates obtained were characterised by scanning electron microscopy and nitrogen sorption porosimetry. These analyses showed clearly that spherical polymer particulates (polymer microspheres) with narrow size distributions (average particle diameter 3.5 Ám) and well-developed pore structures had been produced. The imprinted microspheres were packed into a stainless steel HPLC column (50 x 4.6 mm id) and evaluated as an imprinted stationary phase. The imprinting effect was demonstrated clearly, i.e., the column was observed to bind TBZ selectively, and the effect of different chromatographic parameters (e.g., temperature, flow-rate and elution solvents) on TBZ retention/elution studied. Under optimised conditions, the TBZ-imprinted column was used for the HPLC-fluorescence (HPLC-F) determination of TBZ directly from orange (both whole fruit and juice), lemon, grape and strawberry extracts at low concentration levels in less than 15 min, without any need for a clean-up step in the analytical protocol.
Template and target information: thiabendazole, TBZ