Molecularly-Imprinted Material Made by Template-Directed Synthesis
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON DC
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A method of making a molecularly imprinted porous structure makes use of a surfactant analog of the molecule to be imprinted that has the imprint molecule portion serving as the surfactant headgroup. The surfactant analog is allowed to self-assemble in a mixture to create at least one supramolecular structure having exposed imprint groups. The imprinted porous structure is formed by adding reactive monomers to the mixture and allowing the monomers to polymerize, with the supramolecular structure serving as a template. The resulting solid structure has a shape that is complementary to the shape of the supramolecular structure and has cavities that are the minor image of the imprint group. Similarly, molecularly imprinted particles may be made by using the surfactant to create a water-in-oil microemulsion wherein the imprint groups are exposed to the water phase. When reactive monomers are allowed to polymerize in the water phase to form particles, the surface of the particles have cavities that are the mirror image of the imprint group.
- Polymer Chemistry