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Microfluidic Application: Molecularly Imprinted Polymer – MIPs
In a Molecular imprinting process, functional monomers are selected to allow self-assemble around a template molecule and subsequently polymerized in the presence of a cross linker.
Together with it, molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) is a polymer that has a «memory» of the shape and the functional groups of a template molecule.
The aim of this material is to recognize selectively the template molecule used in the imprinting process, and to act as an antibody. High molecular recognition properties can be achieved with these MIPs for a variety of molecules.
Saying it in a simpler way, Molecular imprinting is making an artificial tiny lock for a specific molecule that serves as miniature key. In addition, there are two main ways and methods for creating these molecularly imprinted Polymers:
This method is a powerful technique to create nano-structures using predesigned compositions. It is based on the combination of compound molecules by different forces. Moreover, it allows the molecular interactions to form the cross-linked polymer
2. Covalently linking:
This second method which is used, as well as the first method, for the MIP’s formation, involves covalently linking the imprint molecule and the monomer. Once the polymerization is done, the monomer is separated from the template molecule.