Novel critical point drying (CPD) based preparation and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging of protein specific molecularly imprinted polymers (HydroMIPs)
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We report the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging of a hydrogel based molecularly imprinted polymer (HydroMIP) specific to the template molecule bovine haemoglobin (BHb). A novel critical point drying based sample preparation technique was employed to prepare the molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) samples in a manner that would facilitate the use of TEM to image the imprinted cavities, and provide an appropriate degree of both magnification and resolution to image polymer architecture in the <10 nm range. For the first time, polymer structure has been detailed that tentatively suggests molecularly imprinted cavities, ranging from 5 to 50 nm in size, that correlate (in terms of size) with the protein molecule employed as the imprinting template. The modified critical point drying sample preparation technique used may potentially play a key role in the imaging of all molecularly imprinted polymers, particularly those prepared in the aqueous phase.
KeywordsMolecularly Imprint Polymer Imprint Polymer Template Molecule Sample Preparation Technique Template Protein
The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.