The molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) based on methacrylic acid functionalized β-cyclodextrin (MAA-β-CD) monomer was synthesized for the purpose of selective recognition of benzylparaben (BzP). The MAA-β-CD monomer was produced by bridging a methacrylic acid (MAA) and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) using toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI) by reacting the –OH group of MAA and one of the primary –OH groups of β-CD. This monomer comprised of triple interactions that included an inclusion complex, π–π interaction, and hydrogen bonding. To demonstrate β-CD performance in MIPs, two MIPs were prepared; molecularly imprinted polymer-methacrylic acid functionalized β-cyclodextrin, MIP(MAA-β-CD), and molecularly imprinted polymer-methacrylic acid, MIP(MAA); both prepared by a reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) in the bulk polymerization process. Both MIPs were characterized using the Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM), and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET). The presence of β-CD not only influenced the morphological structure, it also affected the specific surface area, average pore diameter, and total pore volume of the MIP. The rebinding of the imprinting effect was evaluated in binding experiments, which proved that the β-CD contributed significantly to the enhancement of the recognition affinity and selective adsorption of the MIP.
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