Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Molecular recognition in molecularly imprinting polymers (MIPs) is governed by two mechanisms: pre-organization of functional groups and shape specificity of the binding site. While pre-organization of functional groups has been studied extensively, shape specificity of the binding site has not been rigorously explored. The goal of this research is to determine the influence of shape specificity on molecular recognition in MIPs (Chapter 2). Once shape selectivity was proven to play a vital role in molecular recognition, it was important to determine if pre-organization of functional groups or shape specificity was the dominating factor in determining molecular recognition in the binding site (Chapter 3). Chapters 4 and 5 contain research that is not directly related to shape selectivity or pre-organization of functional groups in MIPs, but is nevertheless important to the field of molecular imprinting and synthetic methodology. A survey of commercially available basic functional monomers was conducted with the goal of making MIPs with acidic compounds as templates. The effect of particle size and flow rate on binding selectivity was investigated for both classic ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA)/methacrylic acid (MAA) MIPs and new 2-(methacryloylamine)ethyl-2-methacrylate (NOBE) MIPs. Thin-layer and centrifugally accelerated radial chromatographic experiments were done with MIPs as the stationary phase. A preliminary investigation into the use of quaternary ammonium salts as templates in MIP experiments was conducted. Synthetic methodology involving palladium catalyzed cross couplings is detailed in Chapter 5.



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Committee Chair

David Spivak



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Chemistry Commons