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J Org Chem. 2013 Feb 15;78(4):1377-89. doi: 10.1021/jo3019522. Epub 2013 Jan 28.

Synthesis, spectroscopic, and analyte-responsive behavior of a polymerizable naphthalimide-based carboxylate probe and molecularly imprinted polymers prepared thereof.

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Institute of Environmental Research, Faculty of Chemistry, Technical University of Dortmund, Otto-Hahn Strasse 6, D-44221 Dortmund, Germany.


A naphthalimide-based fluorescent indicator monomer 1 for the integration into chromo- and fluorogenic molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) was synthesized and characterized. The monomer was equipped with a urea binding site to respond to carboxylate-containing guests with absorption and fluorescence changes, namely a bathochromic shift in absorption and fluorescence quenching. Detailed spectroscopic analyses of the title compound and various models revealed the signaling mechanism. Titration studies employing benzoate and Z-L-phenylalanine (Z-L-Phe) suggest that indicator monomers such as the title compound undergo a mixture of deprotonation and complex formation in the presence of benzoate but yield hydrogen-bonded complexes, which are desirable for the molecular imprinting process, with weakly basic guests like Z-l-Phe. Compound 1 could be successfully employed in the synthesis of monolithic and thin-film MIPs against Z-L-Phe, Z-L-glutamic acid, and penicillin G. Chromatographic assessment of the selectivity features of the monoliths revealed enantioselective discrimination and clear imprinting effects. Immobilized on glass coverslips, the thin-film MIPs of 1 displayed a clear signaling behavior with a pronounced enantioselective fluorescence quenching dependence and a promising discrimination against cross-analytes.

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