Molecularly Imprinted Pyrolyzed Photoresist - A Molecularly Imprinted Carbon

A thermo-stable, durable, and highly selective molecular carbon template for solid phase extraction/microextraction.

The Need

Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) are robust molecular recognition elements able to mimic natural recognition entities, such as antibodies and biological receptors, useful to separate and analyze complicated samples such as biological fluids and environmental samples. This is a commonly utilized process, but it needs improved thermal and chemical stability to allow for a longer lifetime. Other drawbacks to MIPs include template bleeding, tedious synthesis procedure, scarce control of its physical form, and difficulties in scaling up its production.

The Technology

The Ohio State University researchers, led by Dr. Susan Olesik, developed a method of preparing a molecularly-imprinted pyrolyzed photoresist (MI-PP). The invention has a carbon surface that has been imprinted on the molecular level for a specific molecule of interest; the imprinted carbon surface can bind the molecule in a highly specific fashion. The molecule can then be released using heat or very small electrical currents. MI-PPs differ from molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) in that MI-PPs possess a higher thermal stability and increased stability of the carbon relative to polymers. These advantages lead themselves to a longer operational lifetime prior to the degradation of the molecular imprint.

Commercial Applications

  • Solid Phase Extraction
  • MIcroextraction
  • Clinical, Forensic, Bioanalytical
  • Nanotechnology
  • Chemical Engineering


  • High thermal and chemical stability
  • Increased stability of carbon relative to polymers
  • Longer operation lifetime
  • Highly selective analyte imprinting
  • Binding to nicotine has recently been demonstrated

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