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Molecularly imprinted polymers selective for benzo-a-pyrene

Six kinds of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) or microspheres (MIMs) were firstly synthesized by bulk polymerization and aqueous micro-suspension polymerization using benzo[a]pyrene (BAP) as imprinting molecule. Three monomers (MAA, TFMAA, 4-VP) and two cross-linkers (EDMA, DVB) were investigated.

The MIPs or MIMs obtained were subsequently characterized in detail with rebinding investigation, solid-phase extraction (SPE) and liquid chromatography (HPLC). All the results indicate that the polarity of both monomer and cross-linker play an important role for affinity and retention behaviour. The affinities of the polymers to BAP increased with the decreasing polarity of monomer and cross-linker.

The rebinding results demonstrate that the affinity order is 4-VP-co-DVB > MAA-co-DVB > TFMAA-co-DVB > 4-VP-co-EDMA. The HPLC results also indicate that the retention time of BAP on 4-VP-co-DVB and 4-VP-co-EDMA columns is much different (18.02 min versus 10.89 min) and that it needs a more polar mobile phase for the former (ACN-DCM, 80:20, v/v versus ACN-water, 80:20, v/v).

The selectivity of the imprinted 4-VP-co-DVB column to BAP and its homologous is much better than that of the 4-VP-co-EDMA column (IF-BAP 8.44 versus 1.34). In this case, it is illustrated that the cross-linker is much more important than the monomer, and that the hydrophobic interaction and Pi-Pi interaction between analytes and the MIP-HPLC column play a key role in the retention process.

The 4-VP-co-DVB column was employed to enrich BAP from tap water, lake water and instant coffee samples which were spiked at low ppb levels without any sample pre-treatment apart from filtration. The recoveries were 96.5%, 84.7%, and 72.5%, respectively.

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Reported by

ARC Seibersdorf research GmbH
Forschungszentrum Seibersdorf
2444 Seibersdorf
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