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Keywords:

  • adsorption;
  • modulation;
  • molecular imprinting;
  • molecular recognition;
  • polymers;
  • thermal properties

Abstract

Modulated molecular recognition was achieved in a temperature-sensitive molecularly-imprinted polymer. Using PNIPA as the temperature-sensitive element, the adenine-imprinted polymer (i.e., MIP-S) was prepared and characterized. The MIP-S exhibited a temperature-responsive molecular recognition behavior because of the thermal phase-transition within the MIP-S network. Specifically, below the transition temperature (e.g., 20 °C), the MIP-S showed a highly specific recognition for the imprint species (adenine). However, the MIP-S did not show any significant resolution for the imprint species (adenine) and its analogue (1-methyladenine) above the transition temperature (e.g., 40 °C). Such temperature-regulated recognition is comparable to a switch-on and switch-off process, thereby making tunable molecular recognition feasible. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 47: 2352–2360, 2009