The Analyst

A core-shell-structured molecularly imprinted polymer on upconverting nanoparticles for selective and sensitive fluorescence sensing of sulfamethazine.

PMID 26075380


A core-shell structured molecularly imprinted polymer on upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs@MIP) was synthesized for the fluorescence (FL) sensing of sulfamethazine (SMZ). Hexagonal UCNPs were synthesized by the solvothermal method, then coated with a thin silica shell and modified with vinyl groups. Finally, surface polymerization was initiated among the vinyl groups, the functional monomers and cross-linking agents by the initiator. The MIP synthesized by this procedure was anchored on the surface of UCNPs, possessed better site accessibility and lower transfer resistance for the target molecule compared to bulk imprinted materials. The obtained UCNPs@MIP showed good binding capacity, fast response, high selectivity and specificity to the SMZ. The FL intensity of the UCNPs@MIP decreased sensitively with the increasing concentration of SMZ in the range of 50-700 ng mL(-1), the detection limit was 34 ng mL(-1) (S/N = 3). The UCNPs@MIP was successfully applied to the detection of SMZ in chicken samples. Thanks to the unique near-infrared (NIR) excitation nature of UCNPs, the chicken meat only needed some simple extraction procedures before FL detection, no complex purifications were required. The average recoveries ranged from 96.01% to 98.90%, with relative standard deviations (RSDs) below 4.5%. This work offers a novel sensing system that combined the advantages of upconverting nanotechnology and molecularly imprinted technology.

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Methyl acetoacetate, Lonza quality, ≥99% (GC)