There is an increasing interest in the development of biosensors for the selective molecular recognition and detection of bio-molecules. The key to a functional biosensor is the recognition element and as such molecular imprinted polymers have gained considerable attention. Molecular imprinting is based on the self-assembly and spatial arrangement of functional and cross-linking monomers around a template molecule (the imprint molecule). Subsequent co-polymerization of the functional monomers in the presence of the template will create a polymer with functional groups arranged in space according to their interaction with the template prior to polymerization. Removal of the imprint molecule reveals binding sites that are complementary in size, shape and interaction pattern to the template. This has introduced a molecular memory into the polymer, which is capable of rebinding the template with very high selectivity. We believe that the combination of cyclodextrins and additional binding sites based on e.g. hydrogen bonding and ionic interactions may prove to be a viable route to synthetic antibodies with a wide range of applications. The ultimate goal of the project will be to engineer a cheap and durable imprinted polymer that can be used in nano- and microsensor technologies for the selective recognition of biomolecules in clinical diagnostics, food analysis and production monitoring and the detection of illicit drugs, pollutants and chemical warfare agents in aqueous solution.
|Effective start/end date||01/07/2003 → 30/06/2006|