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Anal Chim Acta. 2008 Jul 14;620(1-2):73-81. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2008.05.020. Epub 2008 May 20.

Selective trace analysis of diclofenac in surface and wastewater samples using solid-phase extraction with a new molecularly imprinted polymer.

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Chair of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Hydrochemistry, Technische Universität München, Marchioninistrasse 17, D-81377 München, Germany.


A new molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) for trace analysis of diclofenac in environmental water samples was prepared by a non-covalent protocol in which diclofenac was used as a template molecule. Diclofenac is a member of the class of drugs termed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which belong to the most frequently detected pharmaceuticals in the water-cycle in Europe. The MIP was synthesized using 2-vinylpyridine (2-VP) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as a functional monomer and cross-linker, respectively, and bulk thermal polymerization method. (1)H NMR spectroscopy was used to study the interaction between diclofenac and 2-VP mixed in toluene-d(8) in pre-polymerization complex. Two non-covalent bonds were formed i.e. ionic interaction and hydrogen bonding. The binding characteristics of the MIP and diclofenac were evaluated using equilibrium binding experiments. Scatchard plot analysis revealed that two classes of binding sites were formed with dissociation constants of 55.6 micromol L(-1) and 1.43 mmol L(-1), respectively. Various parameters affecting the extraction efficiency of the polymers have been evaluated to achieve the selective preconcentration of diclofenac from aqueous samples and to reduce non-specific interactions. This resulted in an MISPE-LC/DAD method allowing the direct extraction of the analyte from sample matrix with a selective wash using dichloromethane/acetonitrile (94:6, v/v) followed by elution with dichloromethane/methanol (85:15, v/v). The recovery of a 100 ng diclofenac standard spiked into 200 mL of blank surface water was 96%, with good precision (RSD=3.3%, n=3). The MISPE was demonstrated to be applicable to the analysis of diclofenac in raw influent and final effluent wastewater samples from sewage treatment plant and revealed diclofenac concentrations of 1.31+/-0.055 microg L(-1) (n=3) and 1.60+/-0.049 microg L(-1) (n=3), respectively. Yielded results were in good agreement with the corresponding LC/TIS/MS/MS data obtained by an independent laboratory which were 1.40 and 1.50 microg L(-1) for influent and effluent samples.

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