The influence of polymer morphology on the performance of molecularly imprinted polymers

Niamh Holland, June Frisby, Eleanor Owens, Helen Hughes, Patrick Duggan, Peter McLoughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This is the first in-depth study examining the effect of morphology on the performance of 2-aminopyridine (2-apy) imprinted polymers. A series of polymers were prepared by varying the amount of crosslinking monomer (EGDMA) whilst the other polymer components remained constant. Physical characterisation was carried out using conventional techniques, such as nitrogen sorption porosimetry and solvent swelling studies. The use of a novel thermal desorption GC-MS technique suggested higher levels of polymer degradation with prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures for those polymers formed with lower amounts of EGDMA. The thermal desorption GC-MS profiles obtained correlated with the physical characteristics of the polymers, where higher levels of polymer bleed was found to occur with larger average pore diameters. Polymer physical characteristics were also found to correlate with the binding parameters (number of binding sites and polymer-template association energy) obtained from the Langmuir-Freundlich Isotherm (L-FI) and affinity distribution spectra (AD). The flexibility of the polymers formed from lower amounts of EGDMA combined the swelling effect of the solvents on the polymers resulted in an increase in affinity, which was both specific and non-specific in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1578-1584
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2010


  • Molecularly imprinted polymer
  • Morphology
  • Thermal desorption GC-MS


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