Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Molecularly imprinted polymers for the analysis of food contaminants

Highly selective and robust MIPs have been developed for (Beta)-lactam antibiotics and clenbuterol. The results of the study indicates that MIPs can be used to prepare both selective and general recognition matrices for either individual analytes (e.g. penicillin) or groups of compounds (e.g. the (Beta)-lactam antibiotic group). The MIPs developed have shown very good reproducibility and stability. Practical protocols for the use of the MIPs for the analysis of food samples have been developed and briefly evaluated. Specific MIP separation of clenbuterol from meat and kidney, and of the (Beta)-lactam antibiotic oxacillin from milk has been demonstrated.

The MIP developed for clenbuterol has been successfully used to prepare a selective amperometric sensor. The responses from several such sensors were measured to be reproducible within 10%. The feasibility for an oxacillin MIP-based sensor has also been initiated.

The feasibility for developing MIPs to selected macromolecules (e.g. staphylococcal enterotoxin) and whole microbial cells (e.g. Escherichia coli), and the development of procedures for scaling-up the generation of MIPs for pilot-scale production, have also been investigated. In each case, several promising approaches have been identified and the initial feasibility data produced, but it has not been possible to complete the generation of usable MIPs within the time-scale of the present study.

Overall, MIPs offer several advantages to the agricultural food industry. Highly selective and robust recognition matrices produced in this way can be employed in various applications (e.g. affinity-separation, solid phase extraction, binding assays and sensor technology) where the analysis of diverse food is an issue. Given the advantages of MIPs over biological reagents, such as high stability, endurance and low cost of production, it is expected that products based on MIPs will reach the market in the near future.

Reported by

Leatherhead food research association
Randalls road leatherhead
KT22 7 RY Leatherhead, Surrey
United Kingdom
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Biotechnology - Food
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