A molecularly-imprinted polymer (MIP) was prepared by electropolymerization of pyrrole (Py) onto a stainless steel frit, using ochratoxin A (OTA) as the template, in order to make a micro solid phase preconcentration (μSPP) device. The OTA template was removed with 1% triethylamine (TEA) in methanol. Compared to non-imprinted polypyrrole (PPy), the molecularly-imprinted polypyrrole (MIPPy) enhanced the selective binding of OTA. The percentage recovery improved from 0 to 40% when the OTA sample solution was acidified with 1 M HCl (1% by volume). At a flow rate of 0.2 mL/min, maximum OTA binding was reached in 6 min after a total loading of 3.2 ng OTA. Final elution of the OTA was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection, using 20:80 v/v acetonitrile–ammonia buffer (NH4Cl/NH3, 20 mM, pH 9.2) as the mobile phase. The MIPPy-μSPP-HPLC results clearly demonstrated that the MIPPy-μSPP device afforded selective preconcentration of OTA from red wine samples, at OTA concentration levels as low as 0.05 ppb, prior to HPLC analysis.
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Financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Canada is gratefully acknowledged. S.K. thanks Environment Canada for funding of a Science Horizons Youth Internship Program placement.