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Synthesis of molecularly imprinted polymers of tetracyclines
Solid-phase extraction for the analysis of tetracyclines in animal food


Jing Wang1, Yaxin Sang1, Xiaojiao Zheng1, Fangfang Sha1, Xianghong Wang1,2,*
*Corresponding author
1. College of Food Science and Technology, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, China
2. Hebei Research Center of Primary Products Processing Technology, Baoding, China


The present study was focused on the rational development of polymers for selective extraction of tetracyclines (TCs) from animal food. Three molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) were synthesized using methacrylic acid (MAA), acrylamide (AM), 4-vinyl pyridine (4-VP) as functional monomer and TC as template molecule in non-covalent molecular imprinting procedures. After the specific adsorption capacity evaluation, the MIPs of TCs-AM as selective solid phase extraction (SPE) sorbent were evaluated. The polymers showed high selectivity to TCs. The TCs-AM MIPs as SPE sorbent, good recoveries (72.23%-90.06%) were obtained when tetracyclines were selectively extracted from animal food. Benefiting from the great selectivity, sensitivity and recovery, the proposed method has a promising potential for analyzing TCs residues in animal food.


Tetracyclines are mainly used as drug additives in animal production. They are widely used in animal husbandry for the prevention or treatment of disease or as feed additives to promote animal growth (1). However, the use of these drugs has caused serious problems as regards leaving residues in animal products which can induce the tolerance of bacteria and impact the whole environmental system. Currently most countries control the tetracycline residues in animal products and the determination of tetracycline residues in food matrix receives a great deal of attention.
In order to monitor TC in animal food, several analytical methods have been developed so far, such as HPLC (2-4), HPLC-MS (5-7), MIPs (8-10).

Separation fundamentals of the traditional SPE materials are commonly based on physiochemical retention on the functionalized surface. The selectivity of the commercial solid-phase extraction  adsorbents is low and this would be a setback when a selective extraction from a complex matrix has to be performed. However, the advantages of MIPs, such as stability at extremes of pH and temperature, ease of preparation, low cost ...

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