Molecularly Imprinted Polymer – MIPs and Microfluidics
As mentioned before, using MIPs have several advantages, but if MIPs and microfluidics are worked together, they have even more positive points.
To start with, the materials used in microfluidic platforms are more or less inert, transparent and, moreover, they are not toxic.
This allows to work with all kinds of analytical techniques.
In addition, valves can be implemented in the microfluidic device, and this action allows the directed flows into certain areas of the chip.
Furthermore, the main advantage of inserting MIPs into microfluidic devices is that minuscule channels reduce diffusion form a solution to the imprinted surface.
This reduction brings a significant reduction of response timers for sensors or an increase of throughput for separations.
MIPs Applications and Microfluidics
The main applications of MIP’s are in the area of sensors and separation.
Moreover, as MIPs are fast and cost-effective, it is mostly used in the fields of chemistry, biology and engineering.
Due to the specific binding site created in a MIP this technique is showing promise in analytical chemistry as a useful method for solid phase extraction.
According to the effectiveness of the MIPs and as it is a cheaper and easier production of antibody/enzymes, it is nowadays used in the medical research and application, applications such as Controlled release drugs, drug monitoring devices and mimetic biological receptor .
Speaking about the advantages of MIP’s, they offer many advantages over protein binding sites. Proteins are difficult and expensive to purify, denature and are difficult to immobilize for reuse.
Synthetic polymers are cheap, easy to synthesize, and allow the elaboration of synthetic side chains to be incorporated.