Biosensors & bioelectronics

New potentiometric sensor based on molecularly imprinted nanoparticles for cocaine detection.

PMID 28472729


Here we present a potentiometric sensor for cocaine detection based on molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles (nanoMIPs) produced by the solid-phase imprinting method. The composition of polymers with high affinity for cocaine was optimised using molecular modelling. Four compositions were selected and polymers prepared using two protocols: chemical polymerisation in water and UV-initiated polymerisation in organic solvent. All synthesised nanoparticles had very good affinity to cocaine with dissociation constants between 0.6nM and 5.3nM. Imprinted polymers produced in organic solvent using acrylamide as a functional monomer demonstrated the highest yield and affinity, and so were selected for further sensor development. For this, nanoparticles were incorporated within a PVC matrix which was then used to prepare an ion-selective membrane integrated with a potentiometric transducer. It was demonstrated that the sensor was able to quantify cocaine in blood serum samples in the range of concentrations between 1nM and 1mM.