Computer-aided design of magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles for solid-phase extraction and determination of levetiracetam in human plasma†
Analytical methods should be accurate and specific to measure plasma drug concentration. Nevertheless, current sample preparation techniques suffer from limitations, including matrix interference and intensive sample preparation. In this study, a novel technique was proposed for the synthesis of a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) on magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles (NPs) with uniform core–shell structure. The Fe3O4@MIPs NPs were then applied to separate and enrich an antiepileptic drug, levetiracetam, from human plasma. A computational approach was developed to screen the functional monomers and polymerization solvents to provide a suitable design for the synthesized MIP. Different analysis techniques and re-binding experiments were performed to characterize the Fe3O4@MIP NPs, as well as to identify optimal conditions for the extraction process. Adsorption isotherms were best fitted to the Langmuir model and adsorption kinetics were modeled with pseudo-second-order kinetics. The Fe3O4@MIP NPs showed reasonable adsorption capacity and improved imprinting efficiency. A validated colorimetric assay was introduced as a comparable method to a validated HPLC assay for the quantitation of levetiracetam in plasma in the range of 10–80 μg mL−1 after extraction. The results from the HPLC and colorimetric assays showed good precision (between 1.08% and 9.87%) and recoveries (between 94% and 106%) using the Fe3O4@MIP NPs. The limit of detection and limit of quantification were estimated to be 2.58 μg mL−1 and 7.81 μg mL−1, respectively for HPLC assay and 2.32 μg mL−1 and 7.02 μg mL−1, respectively for colorimetric assay. It is believed that synthesized Fe3O4@MIP NPs as a sample clean-up technique combined with the proposed assays can be used for determination of levetiracetam in plasma.