Author(s): Mayes AG, Whitcombe MJ
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Abstract Molecular imprinting is a method of inducing molecular recognition properties in synthetic polymers in response to the presence of a template species during formation of the three-dimensional structure of the polymer. The molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) prepared in this way have been termed "plastic antibodies" and combine the robustness of the polymer scaffold with binding properties more readily associated with biological receptors. Smart polymers of this type may find applications in drug delivery, controlled release and monitoring of drug and metabolite concentrations. In this review the main synthetic strategies used in the preparation of imprinted organic polymers are described in terms of the chemical principles used in the templating step. These are illustrated with examples taken from the literature and are classified as covalent, semi-covalent, non-covalent, metal-mediated and non-polar. Finally strategies for the selection of monomers, optimisation and modification of the properties of imprinted polymers are reviewed.
This article was published in Adv Drug Deliv Rev
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta