Development and application of water-compatible molecularly imprinted polymers for the selective extraction of carbamazepine from environmental waters
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A molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) was designed in order to allow the selective solid-phase extraction of carbamazepine (CBZ), an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug, at ultra-trace level from aqueous environmental samples. A structural analog of CBZ was selected as a dummy template and different synthesis conditions were screened. The selectivity of the resulting imprinted polymers was evaluated by studying the retention of CBZ in a solvent similar to the one used for the synthesis. The presence of imprinted cavities in the polymers was then demonstrated by comparing the elution profiles (obtained by using MIP and a non-imprinted polymer, NIP, as a control) of the template, of CBZ, and of a structural analog of CBZ. Then, the extraction procedure was further optimized for the treatment of aqueous samples on the two most promising MIPs, with special attention being paid to the volume and composition of the percolation and washing solutions. The best MIP provided a highly selective retention in tap water with 81% extraction recovery for CBZ in the elution fraction of the MIP and only 14% for NIP. The repeatability of the extraction procedure was demonstrated for both tap and river waters (RSD below 4% in river water) for the drugs CBZ, oxcarbamazepine, and one metabolite (carbamazepine 10,11-epoxide). A MIP capacity of 1.15 μmol g−1 was determined. Finally, an analytical procedure involving the MIP was developed allowing the detection of CBZ at a concentration level of only a few nanograms per liter in river water. The selectivity provided by the MIP resulted in a 3000-fold increase of the signal-to-noise ratio in LC/MS analysis as compared to the use of conventional sorbent.
KeywordsCarbamazepine Molecularly imprinted polymers Solid-phase extraction Liquid chromatography Mass spectrometry Environmental aqueous samples
This work was supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR Program: ANR-15-CE04-0012, project MIP_WQT).
Compliance with ethical standards
This is not a clinical study on humans/animals.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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