Surface enhancement of a molecularly imprinted polymer film using sacrificial silica beads for increasing l-arabitol chemosensor sensitivity and detectability
Molecular imprinting in polymers leads, among others, to synthetic receptors of high selectivity, comparable to that of their biological counterparts. Deposition of a thin non-porous molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) film directly on a transducer surface enables fabrication of chemosensors for various health relevant biocompounds. However, the sensitivity of a chemosensor with such an MIP film as the recognition unit is limited, mostly because of slow analyte diffusion through this film. Herein, a simple procedure was developed to enhance, in a controlled way, the active surface area of an L-arabitol imprinted polymer film. For this, a macroporous MIP-(L-arabitol) film was synthesized and simultaneously deposited on a gold electrode of a quartz crystal resonator transducer by potentiodynamic electropolymerization. This large surface area film effectively enhanced analytical signals of mass changes at a quartz crystal microbalance. Hence, the L-arabitol limit of quantification was ∼16-fold better than that of the corresponding non-porous MIP film of the same mass.
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