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2012 | 1 | 27-34

Article title

Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Receptors for Nicotine
Recognition in Biological systems


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Molecular imprinting of nicotine and related carcinogenic chemicals in
itaconic acid – ethylene glycol dimethacrylate copolymer is described.
Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are made to contain binding sites
capable of recognizing nicotine; thus the fingerprint of the nicotine created
in the polymer allows it to serve as an ideal molecular recognition element.
We demonstrate that the imprinted polymers show high selective binding
affinity in biological buffers. This is a previously un-described initiative for
molecular imprinting, since the binding occurs under conditions relevant
to biological systems. Due to effect of molecular imprinting nanocavities
with size 24±5 nm were formed and these nicotine receptor sites were
distributed homogeneously in the nicotine imprinted polymer. The nicotine
receptors showed highly selective to nicotine with Kd values as low as
10-5M, and the levels of selectivity similar to those of natural molecules -
acetylcholine esterase (AChE). The recognition properties of the polymer
receptor were analyzed using ultra-violet spectroscopy, computer
simulations and adsorption assay. Importantly, the receptors were effective
in wide pH range (6.8-8.2) while the natural nicotine receptors showed
high binding only at pH 7.6. The high specificity and stability of artificial
receptors rendered them promising alternatives to enzymes, antibodies,
and other natural receptors useful in biomedical assays, sensors and drug







Physical description


16 - 01 - 2013
16 - 12 - 2012
25 - 7 - 2012


  • National Environmental Engineering
    Research Institute, Nehru Marg,
    Nagpur 440 020, India
  • Department of Chemical Engineering,
    National Institute of Technology Karnataka
    Suratkal, Mangalore, India
  • Cranfield Health, Cranfield University,
    UK, MK430AL


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