Abstract: In this study, uniform spherical molecularly imprinted polymer beads were prepared via controlled suspension polymerization in a spiral-shaped microchannel using mineral oil and perfluorocarbon liquid as continuous phases. Monodisperse droplets containing the monomers, template, initiator, and porogenic solvent were introduced into the microchannel, and particles of uniform size were produced by subsequent UV polymerization, quickly and without wasting polymer materials. The droplet/particle size was varied by changing the flow conditions in the microfluidic device. The diameter of the resulting products typically had a coefficient of variation (CV) below 2%. The specific binding sites that were created during the imprinting process were analysed via radioligand binding analysis. The molecularly imprinted microspheres produced in the liquid perfluorocarbon continuous phase had a higher binding capacity compared with the particles produced in the mineral oil continuous phase, though it should be noted that the aim of this study was not to optimize or maximize imprinting performance, but rather to demonstrate broad applicability and compatibility with known MIP production methods. The successful imprinting against a model compound using two very different continuous phases (one requiring a surfactant to stabilize the droplets the other not) demonstrates the generality of this current simple approach.
Template and target information: propranolol