Development of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers to Target Polyphenols Present in Plant Extracts uri icon


  • The development of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) to target polyphenols present in vegetable extracts was here addressed. Polydatin was selected as a template polyphenol due to its relatively high size and amphiphilic character. Different MIPs were synthesized to explore preferential interactions between the functional monomers and the template molecule. The effect of solvent polarity on the molecular imprinting efficiency, namely owing to hydrophobic interactions, was also assessed. Precipitation and suspension polymerization were examined as a possible way to change MIPs morphology and performance. Solid phase extraction and batch/continuous sorption processes were used to evaluate the polyphenols uptake/release in individual/competitive assays. Among the prepared MIPs, a suspension polymerization synthesized material, with 4-vinylpyridine as the functional monomer and water/methanol as solvent, showed a superior performance. The underlying cause of such a significant outcome is the likely surface imprinting process caused by the amphiphilic properties of polydatin. The uptake and subsequent selective release of polyphenols present in natural extracts was successfully demonstrated, considering a red wine solution as a case study. However, hydrophilic/hydrophobic interactions are inevitable (especially with complex natural extracts) and the tuning of the polarity of the solvents is an important issue for the isolation of the different polyphenols.
  • This work is a result of project “AIProcMat@N2020—Advanced Industrial Processes and Materials for a Sustainable Northern Region of Portugal 2020,” with the reference NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000006, supported by Norte Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the Portugal 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and of Project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006984—Associate Laboratory LSRE-LCM funded by ERDF through COMPETE2020—Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI)—and by national funds through FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017