(379b) Recognitive Networks in Advanced Responsive Systems

Authors: 
Peppas, N. A. - Presenter, University of Texas at Austin


Molecular recognition is an emerging field of interest in which a polymer network is formed with specific recognition for a desired template molecule. Molecular recognition can be achieved by synthetic networks using a number of procedures to achieve imprinting and replication of a desirable structure. We have developed a biomolecular configurational recognitive imprinting process (BCRIP) that can be used to design a new generation of advanced networks with recognition and replication characteristics. Constituents are chosen based on the specific application. Functional monomers are chosen which exhibit chemical structures designed to interact with the template molecule (drug, peptide, protein of interest) via non-covalent binding. The type and amount of cross-linking monomer is selected which provides structural support to the polymer network as well as help define the pore size for diffusion of the template in and out of the matrix. These components are dissolved, in the presence of the template, in an appropriate solvent. The pre-polymerization complex is formed between the template and functional monomer which forms the basis of the specific binding sites. The monomer mixture is polymerized, typically via a UV or redox initiated free radical polymerization reaction. Finally, the template is removed which leaves a polymer network with stereo-specific three-dimensional binding cavities based on the template molecule. We show various applications of such networks in teh medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and consumer fields.