Molecularly imprinted polymers for the selective extraction of bisphenol A and progesterone from aqueous media

César Cáceres, Catalina Bravo, Bernabé Rivas, Ewa Moczko, Pedro Sáez, Yadiris García, Eduardo Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This paper describes the development of a novel sorbent for selective extraction of endocrine disruptors (EDs) from aqueous media. The main goal was to obtain sufficient molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for selective detection, preconcentration, and extraction of EDs such as bisphenol A (BPA) and progesterone (PG). Series of MIPs and their analogues, non-molecularly imprinted polymers (NIPs), were synthesised following a non-covalent imprinting strategy based on radical polymerisation. Sets of synthesis were performed in order to optimise variables of the polymerisation including solvent, cross-linker, and template ratio. The retention capacity of MIPs was determined using HPLC in the range of 33.3% to 96.6% and 32.5% to 96% for BPA and PG, respectively. The adsorption mechanism was studied by isothermal and kinetic assays. The kinetic analysis showed a high retention capacity within 15 min of contact. The polymer yield was obtained in the range of 30% to 100%. Additionally, there was no significant cross-reactivity observed upon testing MIPs with structural analogues and other endocrine disruptors instead of target molecules. The results also revealed the high importance of different concentrations of cross-linker and solvent during the polymerisation. Firstly, the pre-organisation of complementary functional groups, which were present in the polymerisation mixture, and secondly, selective cavity formation for target molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number679
Issue number6
StatePublished - 19 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Endocrine disruptors
  • Molecularly imprinted polymers
  • Selective extraction


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