Reactive & Functional Polymers, Vol.126, 1-8, 2018
The synthesis of molecular recognition polymer particles via miniemulsion polymerization
In this work, we demonstrate a miniemulsion polymerization strategy to synthesize molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) submicron particles. Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disrupting chemical, is chosen as the template molecule. The template was dissolved in the mixture of the functional monomer and crosslinking agent. The monomer mixture was emulsified into miniemulsion with the droplet diameter of about 100 nm via sonication. The specific sites were immobilized into polymer particles through the radical polymerization in the droplets. After the extraction of the template, MIP particles were obtained with an average diameter of 138 nm. The formation of recognition sites on the particles was validated by the excellent binding capability towards BPA in the selective and competitive binding experiments. Benefited from the small particle sizes and large surface areas, the MIP particles exhibit accelerated adsorption kinetics. The particles with submicron sizes, excellent BPA recognition accuracy and rebinding efficiency would be attractive in environmental and analytic fields for BPA decontamination.