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Analyst. 2015 May 7;140(9):3113-20. doi: 10.1039/c4an02292k. Epub 2015 Mar 9.

Magnetic high throughput screening system for the development of nano-sized molecularly imprinted polymers for controlled delivery of curcumin.

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Department of Chemistry, College of Science and Engineering, University of Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK.


Curcumin is a versatile anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent known for its low bioavailability, which could be improved by developing materials capable of binding and releasing drug in a controlled fashion. The present study describes the preparation of magnetic nano-sized Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (nanoMIPs) for the controlled delivery of curcumin and their high throughput characterisation using microtitre plates modified with magnetic inserts. NanoMIPs were synthesised using functional monomers chosen with the aid of molecular modelling. The rate of release of curcumin from five polymers was studied under aqueous conditions and was found to correlate well with the binding energies obtained computationally. The presence of specific monomers was shown to be significant in ensuring effective binding of curcumin and to the rate of release obtained. Characterisation of the polymer particles was carried out using dynamic light scattering (DLS) technique and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in order to establish the relationship between irradiation time and particle size. The protocols optimised during this study could be used as a blueprint for the development of nanoMIPs capable of the controlled release of potentially any compound of interest.

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