Array formatting of the heat-transfer method (HTM) for the detection of small organic molecules by molecularly imprinted polymers.
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In this work we present the first steps towards a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP)-based biomimetic sensor array for the detection of small organic molecules via the heat-transfer method (HTM). HTM relies on the change in thermal resistance upon binding of the target molecule to the MIP-type receptor. A flow-through sensor cell was developed, which is segmented into four quadrants with a volume of 2.5 μL each, allowing four measurements to be done simultaneously on a single substrate. Verification measurements were conducted, in which all quadrants received a uniform treatment and all four channels exhibited a similar response. Subsequently, measurements were performed in quadrants, which were functionalized with different MIP particles. Each of these quadrants was exposed to the same buffer solution, spiked with different molecules, according to the MIP under analysis. With the flow cell design we could discriminate between similar small organic molecules and observed no significant cross-selectivity. Therefore, the MIP array sensor platform with HTM as a readout technique, has the potential to become a low-cost analysis tool for bioanalytical applications.