Abstract: Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are macromolecular matrices that can mimic the functional properties of antibodies, receptors and enzymes while possessing higher durability. As such, these polymers are interesting materials for applications in biomimetic sensor, drug synthesis, drug delivery and separation. In this study, we prepared MIPs and molecularly imprinted nanospheres (MINs) as receptors with specific recognition properties toward tocopherol succinate (TPS) in comparison to tocopherol (TP) and tocopherol nicotinate (TPN). MIPs were synthesized using methacrylic acid (MAA) as functional monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as crosslinking agent and dichloromethane or acetronitrile as porogenic solvent under thermal-induced polymerization condition. Results indicated that imprinted polymers of TPS-MIP, TP-MIP and TPN-MIP all bound specifically to their template molecules at 2 folds greater than the non-imprinted polymers. The calculated binding capacity of all MIP was approximately 2 mg per gram of polymer when using the optimal rebinding solvent EtOH:H2O (3:2, v/v). Furthermore, the MINs toward TPS and TP were prepared by precipitation polymerization that yielded particles that are 200-400 nm in size. The binding capacities of MINs to their templates were greater than that of the non-imprinted nanospheres when using the optimal rebinding solvent EtOH:H2O (4:1, v/v). Computer simulation was performed to provide mechanistic insights on the binding modalities of template-monomer complexes. In conclusion, we had successful prepared MIPs and MINs for binding specifically to TP and TPS. Such MIPs and MINs have great potential for industrial and medical applications, particularly for the selective separation of TP and TPS.
Template and target information: tocopherol, TP, vitamin E
Author keywords: molecular imprinting, molecularly imprinted polymer, anti-cancer, tocopherol succinate, Computational chemistry