Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 408, Issue 27, pp 7857–7864 | Cite as

Magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles-based solid-phase extraction coupled with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry for selective determination of trace di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in water samples

  • Chunying Li
  • Xiaoguo MaEmail author
  • Xiaojun Zhang
  • Rui Wang
  • Yuan Chen
  • Zhongyang Li
Research Paper


Novel magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles (MMIPs) were synthesized by surface imprinting technology with a sol–gel process, using di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) as the template. The MMIPs were characterized using Fourier transform–infrared spectroscopy (FT–IR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM). The MMIPs displayed good adsorption selectivity for DEHP, with selectivity coefficients of 5.2 and 4.8 with respect to di-n-octyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate, respectively. The reusability of MMIPs was demonstrated for at least eight repeated cycles without significant loss in adsorption capacity. A novel method for selective preconcentration and determination of trace DEHP in aqueous solutions was developed by using the magnetic DEHP-imprinted nanoparticles as adsorbent for solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The optimum SPE conditions were as follows: adsorbent amount, 50 mg; sample volume, 100 mL; adsorption time, 20 min; eluent, chloroform; and desorption time, 5 min. Results showed that the limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) for DEHP were 0.02 and 0.075 μg L−1, respectively. The proposed method was applied to the determination of DEHP in different real water samples, with spiked recovery of 93.3–103.2 % and RSD of 1.2–3.2 %. Therefore, the developed analytical method is rapid, sensitive, and accurate, which provides a new option for the detection of trace DEHP in aqueous samples.


Molecularly imprinted polymers Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate Surface imprinting Solid-phase extraction Magnetic separation Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41272262), Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province, China (No. 2016A040403112), and Major projects (natural science) of Education Department of Guangdong Province, China (261555101).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunying Li
    • 1
  • Xiaoguo Ma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xiaojun Zhang
    • 1
  • Rui Wang
    • 1
  • Yuan Chen
    • 1
  • Zhongyang Li
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringGuangdong University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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