Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 399, Issue 1, pp 449–458 | Cite as

Selective extraction of nitroaromatic explosives by using molecularly imprinted silica sorbents

  • Sonia Lordel
  • Florence Chapuis-HugonEmail author
  • Véronique Eudes
  • Valérie Pichon
Original Paper


Two molecularly imprinted silicas (MISs) were synthesized and used as selective sorbents for the extraction of nitroaromatic explosives in post-blast samples. The synthesis of the MISs was carried out with phenyltrimethoxysilane as monomer, 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) as template and triethoxysilane as cross-linker by a sol–gel approach in two molar ratios: 1/4/20 and 1/4/30 (template/monomer/cross-linker). Non-imprinted silica sorbents were also prepared following the same procedures without introducing the template. An optimized procedure dedicated to the selective treatment of aqueous samples was developed for both MISs for the simultaneous extraction of the template and other nitroaromatic compounds commonly used as explosives. The capacity of the MISs was measured by the extraction of increasing amounts of 2,4-DNT in pure water and is higher than 3.2 mg/g of sorbent for each MIS. For the first time, four nitroaromatic compounds were selectively extracted and determined simultaneously with extraction recoveries higher than 79%. The potential of these sorbents was then highlighted by their use for the clean-up of post-blast samples (motor oil, post-mortem blood, calcined fragments, etc.). The results were compared to those obtained using a conventional sorbent, thus demonstrating the interest of the use of these MISs as selective sorbents.


Nitroaromatic explosives Molecularly imprinted silica Sol–gel approach Solid phase extraction 



The authors wish to thank Dr. Marc Deveaux from Toxlab (Paris, France) for providing blood samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Lordel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Florence Chapuis-Hugon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Véronique Eudes
    • 2
  • Valérie Pichon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Analytical, Bioanalytical Sciences and MiniaturizationLSABM, UMR CNRS-UPMC-ESPCI ParisTech 7195 PECSAParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Central de la Préfecture de PoliceParisFrance

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