The detection of testosterone in aqueous solutions is a difficult task due to the low concentration levels that are relevant in environmental and physiological samples. Current analytical methods are expensive and/or complex. To address this issue, we fabricated a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) photonic film for the detection of testosterone in water. The films were obtained using colloidal crystals as templates for the pore morphology. Monodispersed silica particles with an average diameter 330 nm were used to obtain the colloidal crystal by vertical deposition. A solution of acrylic acid with testosterone as the imprinted template was infiltrated in the colloidal crystal and polymerized via bulk polymerization; the particles were then removed by acid etching and the testosterone eluted by a suitable solvent. The material was characterized by FTIR, swelling experiments and microscopy; MIPs were investigated by equilibrium rebinding, kinetics and reuse experiments. The results showed that the MIPs exhibited selectivity to the template, a 30-min equilibration time and stability after at least six cycles of use and regeneration. After incubation, the reflectance spectra of the films showed a shift of the Bragg diffraction peak that correlated with testosterone concentration in the 5–100 ppb range.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited