Preparation of monoethyl fumarate-based molecularly imprinted polymers and their application as a solid-phase extraction sorbent for the separation of scopolamine from tropane alkaloids†
Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) prepared using conventional functional monomers exhibit poor specific extraction of scopolamine from tropane alkaloids, which hinders their application in separation and purification. In this paper, a novel molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) was prepared by precipitation polymerization using scopolamine as the template, monoethyl fumarate (MFMA) as a functional monomer, and ethylene dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as a cross-linker. The advantages of the supercritical fluid technology for the removal of the template were verified by comparing the efficiency of the swelling method and the Soxhlet extraction method. The prepared MFMA-based MIPs (MFMA-MIPs) showed a high adsorption capacity (49.75 mg g−1) and high selectivity toward scopolamine with a selectivity coefficient of 3.5. 1H NMR spectroscopy was performed to demonstrate the interactions between the two functional groups of the functional monomer and the template. Lastly, MFMA-MIPs were used as solid phase extraction (SPE) sorbents for scopolamine analysis. It was found that 97.0–107.0% of the template had been extracted using the SPE column from the complex of scopolamine, atropine and anisodamine. The mean recoveries of scopolamine from plant samples were 96.0–106.0% using the established method, which showed a good linearity in the range of 8.0–4.0 × 104 μg L−1. The results showed that MFMA-MIPs could be applied for the separation of scopolamine from tropane alkaloids.