Electropolymerized molecularly imprinted polymer films of a bis-terthiophene dendron: Folic acid quartz crystalmicrobalance sensing

Dahlia C. Apodaca, Roderick B. Pernites, Ramakrishna R. Ponnapati, Florian R. Del Mundo, Rigoberto C. Advincula*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


A folic acid sensor was prepared via an electropolymerized molecularly imprinted polymer (E-MIP) film of a bis-terthiophene dendron on a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). The cyclic voltammetry (CV) electrodeposition of the imprinted polymer film was monitored by electrochemical QCM or E-QCM, enabling in situ monitoring and characterization of E-MIP film formation and the viscoelastic behavior of the film. A key component of the E-MIP process is the use of a bifunctional monomer design to precomplex with the template and function as a cross-linker. The complex was electropolymerized and cross-linked by CV to form a polythiophene matrix. Stable cavities were formed that specifically fit the size and shape of the folic acid template. The same substrate surface was used for folic acid sensing. The predicted geometry of the 1:2 folic acid/terthiophene complex was obtained through semiempirical AM1 quantum calculations. The analytical performance, expressed through the figures of merit, of the sensor in aqueous solutions of the analyte was investigated. A relatively good linearity, R 2 = 0.985, was obtained within the concentration range 0-100 μM folic acid. The detection limit was found to be equal to 15.4 μM (6.8 μg). The relative cross selectivity of the folic acid imprinted polymer against the three molecules follows this trend: pteroic acid (= 50%) > caffeine (= 41%) > theophylline (= 6%). The potential and limitations of the E-MIP method were also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 23
Externally publishedYes


  • Electropolymerization
  • Film
  • Folic acid
  • Imprinting
  • MIP
  • QCM
  • Sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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