Florida International University (FIU) is seeking a business partner to develop and commercialize Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) for targeted extraction. These MIPs can be tailored to target specific substances in food, biological and environmental samples.
Detection of ultra-trace level of contaminants in complex food, biological and/or environmental samples is often necessary for health and safety reasons. Unfortunately, such detection is often difficult, due to a variety of reasons, including the complexity of the samples that are being tested, and the presence of numerous potential interferents in these samples. MIPs are synthetic polymeric materials that possess specific cavities complimentary to the shape, size, and functional groups of a template molecule used in the imprinting process. Currently, several techniques exist for the synthesis of MIPs; however, they suffer from several drawbacks such as non-specific adsorption, low adsorption capacity, low imprinting factor, low sample throughput, and irreversible analyte loss leading to ineffective removal of the template and poor data quality.
FIU inventors have developed chemical compositions and synthesis strategies to create MIPs via sol-gel processes using organic, inorganic, or metallic target analyte. The resulting MIPs are hybrid organic-inorganic or inorganic three-dimensional network exhibiting high affinity towards a target analyte and its structural analogs, and remain indifferent to other molecules or species present in the same sample matrix.
- Detection and extraction of small amounts of substances in food, biological and environmental samples
- Controlled release drug delivery
- Offers an effective strategy to create MIPs having high affinity towards the analyte(s) of interest, similar to antibody-antigen interactions
- Provides substrates with adjustable porosity, tunable selectivity, high thermal stability, solvent stability, and stability over a wide range of pH