Bio-inspired adhesion: fabrication and evaluation of molecularly imprinted nanocomposite membranes by developing a “bio-glue” imprinted methodology†
Nanocomposite membranes with specific recognition, durability and regeneration ability that can rapidly adsorb and separate target compounds have remarkable technological applications for areas ranging from solid-phase extraction devices to architecture. In this work, inspired by the highly bioadhesive performance of mussel protein, urgently desired molecularly imprinted nanocomposite membranes (MINCMs) were prepared by developing a simple “bio-glue” imprinted strategy. By simply immersing the “bio-glue” m-cresol-imprinted PDA@SiO2 into casting solution accompanied by persistently mechanically stirring, a highly bio-adhered and homo-dispersedly distributed structure could be generated into MINCMs during a phase inversion process, which directed the higher perm-selectivity and reusability. Additionally, due to the unique properties of PDA modified layers and SiO2 nanoparticles (high surface-to-volume ratio and large surface area), the as-prepared MINCMs not only exhibited rapid adsorption dynamics, but also possessed an excellent separation performance of template molecule (m-cresol in this work). The excellent separation (perm-selectivity factor is 3.477) and recognition behavior (imprinted factor is more than 3.0) along with the low preparation consumed and green, quick, facile synthesis conditions make the as-prepared MINCMs attractive in broad technological applications for areas ranging from drug delivery to bioseparation.