This study describes the design and synthesis of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) as patterned thin films, based on molecular modelling of functional monomer-template interactions and validation by NMR-spectroscopy. MIPs were prepared by dissolving the specific template and functional methacrylate monomer at varying ratios with a cross-linker and initiator in a porogenic solvent, spin-coating the solution onto 3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate-functionalised silicon wafers and photo-polymerisation. After template extraction, the film thickness and topography were characterised with atomic force microscopy. A 4-vinylpyridine-MIP thin film layer was then deposited by photo-lithographic etching onto this polymerised methacrylic acid MIP thin film, resulting in a grid-patterned surface in which two different MIPs alternated at a micron scale. Selectivity differences towards fluorescent template analogues were documented using fluorescence microscopy. This side-by-side comparison on the same thin film allows fast and cost-effective assessment of MIP selectivities with various biomolecules.
Boysen, R. I., Li, S., Chowdhury, J., Schwarz, L., & Hearn, M. T. W. (2012). Selectivity optimisation of biomimetic molecularly imprinted polymer thin films. Microelectronic Engineering, 97, 81-84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mee.2012.03.026