Detection of progesterone in aqueous samples by molecularly imprinted photonic polymers

Qasim, Sally
Hsu, Shu-Yu
Rossi, Ezequiel
Lin, Chung-Ho
Polo Parada, Luis
Fidalgo de Cortalezzi, María Marta
Salahshoor, Zahra
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"A label-free molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) sensor was fabricated for the detection of progesterone in aqueous solutions, by polymerization inside the void spaces of colloidal crystals, which gave them photonic properties. The prepolymerization mixture was prepared from acrylic acid as the functional monomer, ethylene glycol as the cross-linker agent, ethanol as solvent, and progesterone as the imprinted template. After polymerization, the colloidal crystal was removed by acid etching and the target eluted with a solvent. Material characterization included as follows: attenuated total reflectance-Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, swelling experiments, and environmental scanning electron microscopy. MIPs were investigated by equilibrium binding, kinetics experiments, and UV–visible spectra to investigate Bragg diffraction peak shift that occurs with the rebinding at different progesterone concentrations in deionized water and 150-mM NaCl solutions. The MIP response was investigated with progesterone concentration in the 1–100 μg L−1 range, with LOD of 0.5 μg L−1, reaching the detected range of hormone in natural waters. Furthermore, hydrogel MIP films were successfully tested in various real water matrices with satisfactory results. Moreover, the MIP film exhibited good selectivity toward the progesterone hormone evidenced by a larger response than when exposed to structurally similar molecules. Computational studies suggested that size along with surface potential influenced the binding of analog compounds. Due to their ease of use and low cost, the sensors are promising as screening tools for the presence of progesterone in aqueous samples."