Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 407, Issue 10, pp 2923–2931 | Cite as

Macromolecular crowding-assisted fabrication of liquid-crystalline imprinted polymers

  • Chen Zhang
  • Jing Zhang
  • Yan-Ping HuangEmail author
  • Zhao-Sheng LiuEmail author
Research Paper


A macromolecular crowding-assisted liquid-crystalline molecularly imprinted monolith (LC-MIM) was prepared successfully for the first time. The imprinted stationary phase was synthesized with polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or polystyrene (PS) as the crowding agent, 4-cyanophenyl dicyclohexyl propylene (CPCE) as the liquid-crystal monomer, and hydroquinidine as the pseudo-template for the chiral separation of cinchona alkaloids in HPLC. A low level of cross-linker (26 %) has been found to be sufficient to achieve molecular recognition on the crowding-assisted LC-MIM due to the physical cross-linking of mesogenic groups in place of chemical cross-linking, and baseline separation of quinidine and quinine could be achieved with good resolution (R s = 2.96), selectivity factor (α = 2.16), and column efficiency (N = 2650 plates/m). In contrast, the LC-MIM prepared without crowding agents displayed the smallest diastereoselectivity (α = 1.90), while the crowding-assisted MIM with high level of cross-linker (80 %) obtained the greatest selectivity factor (α = 7.65), but the lowest column efficiency (N = 177 plates/m).

Graphical Abstract

Schematic representation of crowding-assisted liquid crystalline imprinted polymer


Macromolecular crowding Liquid-crystalline Monolith Molecularly imprinted polymers 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21375096 and U1303202).

Supplementary material

216_2015_8510_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (141 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 141 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tianjin Key Laboratory on Technologies Enabling Development of Clinical Therapeutics and Diagnostics (Theranostics), School of PharmacyTianjin Medical UniversityTianjinChina

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