Friday, September 3, 2010

Acronym in chemistry: MIP for molecularly imprinted polymer

The term molecularly imprinted polymer in chemistry and materials science is commonly abbreviated as MIP [1]. A typical MIP is a polymer network built from self-assembled functional monomers and cross-linking monomers in such a manner that cavities inside the network—the imprints—function as recognition or binding sites for template molecules .
Such MIP-template systems are also known as guest-host complexes, inspired by the lock-and-key metaphor, which Emil Fischer presented in 1894 to describe the way a substrate (template, with the above terminology) interacts with an enzyme [2]. Synthesized MIPs can mimic enzymes. They can be designed in analogy to those seen in antibody-antigen systems [3]. Beyond the usage as antibody and receptor mimics, MIPS have found applications in chromatography, separation technology and design of chemical sensors as well as biosensors.

References and further reading
[1] Mingdi Yan and Olof Ramström(Editors):
Molecularly Imprinted MaterialsScience and Technology. Marcel Dekker, New York, 2005.
[2] Olof Ramström and Mingdi Yan: Molecular Imprinting—An Introduction. Chapter 1 in [1].
[3] Ecevit Yilmaz, Ronald H. Schmidt and Klaus Mosbach: The Noncovalent Approach. Chapter 3 in [1].

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