The preparation of a catecholamine receptor was carried out using a molecular imprinting method with silica-alumina gel to form complementary structures for template recognition. The molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) was synthesized by the condensation of silicate from tetraethyl orthosilictate (TEOS) under hydrothermal conditions at 60°C. Aluminum chloride was added as a functional monomer to increase the material's rebinding ability. The selectivity of the MIP receptor prepared with different ratios of template to Si and Al, was examined with seven analytes including: dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, ascorbic acid, homovanillic acid, uric acid, and l-tyrosine. The results showed a size selective effect for the receptors with respect to the recognition of the catecholamines. Some factors affecting the recognition ability were investigated including: the solution pH of analytes, surface capping on the MIP, and the imprinting pH of the silica-alumina solution. Also, the catecholamine MIP films on quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) electrodes were fabricated as sensors for in situ monitoring of the analytes in a 2-propanol solution.
- Molecular imprinting
- Silica-alumina gel