Capacitive Detection of Morphine via Cathodically Electropolymerized, Molecularly Imprinted Poly(p-aminostyrene) Films

Aileen V. Vergara, Roderick B. Pernites, Brylee David B. Tiu, Al Christopher C. de Leon, Joey D. Mangadlao, Christina A. Binag, Rigoberto C. Advincula*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Highly sensitive and selective detection of morphine is exhibited using a capacitive transducer coated with cathodically electropolymerized and molecularly imprinted poly(p aminostyrene). Through molecular imprinting, morphine-specific recognition sites have been fabricated throughout the film, which shows exceptional binding activity toward morphine based from electrochemical capacitance measurements. The thin film sensor has a linear response to morphine solutions with 20–40 × 10−6 m concentrations and a detection limit of 5.95 × 10−6 m. It demonstrates high selectivity toward morphine as compared to other analog molecules including nicotine and cholesterol. The formation of the polymer film is facilitated and monitored using electrochemical-quartz crystal microbalance and characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Infrared spectroscopy confirms the loading and removal of the analyte from the film. Based on molecular modeling calculations, strong hydrogen-bonding interactions between the monomer, cross-linker, and analyte form a stable pre-polymerization complex, which is critical in successfully imprinting morphine into the film and effective sensing of the analyte. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1810-1822
Number of pages13
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • capacitive detection
  • electropolymerization
  • molecular imprinting
  • morphine
  • p-aminostyrene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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