We propose the use of Doehlert’s experimental design, a second-order uniform shell design, for the optimization of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). We have chosen a simple model system where the influence of kind and degree of cross-linking on template recognition was studied using S-propranolol as the template. We found that Doehlert’s design allows—with very few experiments—one to screen the evolution of the binding capacity of a MIP as a function the different parameters, and thus appears to be a powerful means to screen for the best composition and synthesis method for MIPs. We believe that this chemometric tool can significantly accelerate the development of new MIPs as synthetic recognition elements, particularly in the context of a given application, and will be a versatile complement or alternative to first-order designs to fit complex processes.
ESM 1Application of the Doehlert experimental design to molecularly imprinted polymers: surface response optimization of specific template recognition as a function of the type and degree of cross-linking. (PDF 64 kb)