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Polymers 2017, 9(8), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9080344

Combining Pickering Emulsion Polymerization with Molecular Imprinting to Prepare Polymer Microspheres for Selective Solid-Phase Extraction of Malachite Green

1
College of Materials Science and Energy Engineering, Foshan University, Foshan 528000, China
2
Guangdong Provincial Public Laboratory of Analysis and Testing Technology, China National Analytical Center (Guangzhou), Guangzhou 510070, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 6 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emulsion Polymerization)
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Abstract

Malachite green (MG) is currently posing a carcinogenic threat to the safety of human lives; therefore, it is highly desirable to develop an effective method for fast trace detection of MG. Herein, for the first time, this paper presents a systematic study on polymer microspheres, being prepared by combined Pickering emulsion polymerization and molecular imprinting, to detect and purify MG. The microspheres, molecularly imprinted with MG, show enhanced adsorption selectivity to MG, despite a somewhat lowered adsorption capacity, as compared to the counterpart without molecular imprinting. Structural features and adsorption performance of these microspheres are elucidated by different characterizations and kinetic and thermodynamic analyses. The surface of the molecularly imprinted polymer microspheres (M-PMs) exhibits regular pores of uniform pore size distribution, endowing M-PMs with impressive adsorption selectivity to MG. In contrast, the microspheres without molecular imprinting show a larger average particle diameter and an uneven porous surface (with roughness and a large pore size), causing a lower adsorption selectivity to MG despite a higher adsorption capacity. Various adsorption conditions are investigated, such as pH and initial concentration of the solution with MG, for optimizing the adsorption performance of M-PMs in selectively tackling MG. The adsorption kinetics and thermodynamics are deeply discussed and analyzed, so as to provide a full picture of the adsorption behaviors of the polymer microspheres with and without the molecular imprinting. Significantly, M-PMs show promising solid-phase extraction column applications for recovering MG in a continuous extraction manner. View Full-Text
Keywords: pickering emulsion polymerization; molecular imprinting; molecularly imprinted polymer microspheres; specific adsorption; solid-phase extraction column pickering emulsion polymerization; molecular imprinting; molecularly imprinted polymer microspheres; specific adsorption; solid-phase extraction column
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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Liang, W.; Hu, H.; Guo, P.; Ma, Y.; Li, P.; Zheng, W.; Zhang, M. Combining Pickering Emulsion Polymerization with Molecular Imprinting to Prepare Polymer Microspheres for Selective Solid-Phase Extraction of Malachite Green. Polymers 2017, 9, 344.

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