Inventors: Byfield MP
Imprinted materials; separation/sensing of small molecules
Publication date: 1997
The problem of obtaining an "imprinted material" ( ie one having a three-dimensional structure with cavities therein optimized in size, shape and chemical properties to take up a specific "target" molecule, usually obtained by forming the material round a "target" molecule, which is then removed) adapted for small target molecules, eg of molecular weight < 150, is overcome by using as the "imprinting" molecule a complex of the desired target molecule with a larger molecule forming a complex with it, thereby obtaining a material imprinted with the complex and therefore capable of taking up the target molecule when it is complexed with the larger molecule. In a variant the larger molecule may be left in situ and only the target molecule be removed, leaving an imprinted material which will take up the target molecule itself. In further variants the complex is formed during or after formation of a polymer and/or the larger molecule may be chemically bound to the polymer or a precursor thereof. The imprinted material may be used to in sensors or to extract or separate target molecules. There are no examples.
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