Abstract: Molecularly imprinted polymer microspheres were immobilized within a polymer nanofiber membrane by electrospinning. Such membranes simplify the handling of functional microspheres and provide specific recognition capabilities for solid-phase extraction and filtration applications. In this study, microspheres were prepared by precipitation polymerization of methacrylic acid and divinylbenzene as a cross-linker with the target molecule (-)-cinchonidine and then, they were electrospun into a non-woven polyacrylonitrile nanofiber membrane. The composite membrane showed specific affinity for (-)-cinchonidine which was attributed to the functional microspheres as confirmed by Raman microscopy. The target molecule capturing capacity of the composite membrane was 5 mg/g or 25 mg/g immobilized functional microsphere. No difference in target affinity was observed between the immobilized microspheres and the free microspheres. These results reveal that electrospun composite membranes are a feasible approach to immobilizing functional microspheres.
Template and target information: (-)-cinchonidine
Author keywords: electrospinning, filtration, molecularly imprinted polymer, precipitation polymerization, Raman microscopy