Abstract: Theophylline imprinted polymers were synthesized on the surface of multiwalled carbon nanotubes via atom transfer radical polymerization using brominated multiwalled carbon nanotubes as an initiator. The nanotube-based initiator was prepared by directly reacting acyl chloride-modified multiwalled carbon nanotubes with 2-hydroxylethyl-2'-bromoisobutyrate. The grafting copolymerization of 2-hydroxyethyl-2-methyl-2-propenoate and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate in the presence of template theophylline led to thin molecularly imprinted polymer films coating multiwalled carbon nanotubes. The thickness of molecularly imprinted polymer films prepared in this study was about 5 nm as determined by transmission electron microscopy. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy was utilized to follow the introduction of initiator groups as well as polymers on the carbon nanotube surfaces. Thermogravimetric analysis indicated that the molecularly imprinted polymers were successfully grown from the carbon nanotube surfaces, with the final products having a polymer weight percentage of ca. 50 wt%. The adsorption properties, such as adsorption dynamics, special binding and selective recognition capacity, of the as-prepared molecularly imprinted polymer films were evaluated. The results demonstrated that the composite of molecularly imprinted polymers and multiwalled carbon nanotubes not only possessed a rapid dynamics but also exhibited a good selectivity toward theophylline, compared to caffeine.
Template and target information: theophylline
Author keywords: Molecularly imprinted polymers, theophylline, Multiwalled carbon nanotubes, Atom transfer radical polymerization