Covalent imprinted polymer for selective and rapid enrichment of ractopamine by a noncovalent approach

  • Yi-Wei Tang
  • Guo-Zhen Fang
  • Shuo WangEmail author
  • Jia-Le Li
Original Paper


A novel molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) for the separation and concentration of ractopamine (RAC) was prepared by a covalent imprinting approach and the template was removed successfully by hydrolysis, so that four carboxylic acid groups were left in the cavities and could specifically rebind RAC through noncovalent interaction: hydrogen bonding. The conditions for synthesis of the MIP were optimized during the polymerization process, and a molar ratio of template–functional monomer complexes to cross-linker of 1:3 was confirmed. The adsorption capacity of the MIP was 4.1-fold that of the nonimprinted polymer, and the adsorption reaction reached equilibrium after 25 min at 50 mg L-1 concentration. The results of the competitive adsorption test showed that the MIPs had specific recognition ability for the analyte RAC. In addition, the important factors affecting the efficiency of the method which was developed using the MIPs as a solid-phase sorbent for separation and determination of RAC combined with high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection were optimized. Under the optimum experimental conditions, the linear range of the calibration curve in the method was 0.05-5 μg L-1 (R 2 = 0.98) and the limit of detection (signal-to-noise ratio of 3) was 0.01 μg L-1. The proposed method was applied to determination of RAC in spiked feedstuffs and urine samples, with recoveries ranging from 74.17 to 114.46% and relative standard deviation (n = 3) below 4.55 in all cases.


The molecularly imprinted polymer obtained by a covalent imprinting method. MMPEMPM (4-((3S)-3-(N-(2-(methacryloyloxy)-2-(4-(methacryloyloxy)phenyl)ethyl)methacrylamido)butyl)phenyl methacrylate), EGDMA ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, AIBN azobis(isobutryonitrile), red oxygen, gray carbon, white hydrogen, blue nitrogen


Covalent imprinted polymer Ractopamine Solid-phase extraction 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (projects 20775054 and 30872126) and the National Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin (project 10JCZDJC18300).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi-Wei Tang
    • 1
  • Guo-Zhen Fang
    • 1
  • Shuo Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jia-Le Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Ministry of EducationTianjin University of Science & TechnologyTianjinChina

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