In this study, we tried to prepare an omeprazole (OMP)-imprinted polymer and study its binding and release properties in an aqueous media. Because of the instability of OMP under polymerization conditions and the inability of the molecule to form effective interactions with monomers, pantoprazole (PANTO) was used as a dummy template for the imprinting process. Different monomers and solvents were evaluated in polymerization. The optimized imprinted polymer was prepared in chloroform as a porogen. Also, 4-vinylpyridine and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate were selected as a functional monomer and a crosslinker, respectively. The optimized imprinted polymer was evaluated in a binding study. The binding and release properties of the polymer were then investigated at different pHs. Our data indicated a higher affinity of the imprinted polymer to PANTO and OMP than that of nonimprinted polymer (NIP). The maximum percentage of OMP released from the imprinted polymer was 36–41%, whereas that for the NIP was 74–85%. These data were related to the 38–43 and 29–34 μg of OMP released from the imprinted polymer and NIP, respectively. Also, the protective effect of the imprinted polymer for OMP at pH 2 was greater than that of the nonimprinted one. This study revealed that the dummy template molecular imprinting was an effective method for preparing selective imprinted cavities in a polymeric matrix, especially for the molecules that were unstable during polymerization or unable to establish effective bonds with the monomers. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 4165–4170, 2013
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