Bin LI

Title: Molecularly imprinted polymers for applications in cosmetology.

Author: Bin LI

Date: 2013

National thesis number: 2013COMP2083


  • Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are tailor-made synthetic receptors possessing specific cavities for a given target molecule. They are produced by introducing, into the polymer precursors, guest molecules that act as templates at the molecular level. Interacting and cross-linking monomers are then copolymerized to form a cast-like shell. After removal of the template, cavities complementary to the template in size, shape and position of functional groups are revealed in the polymer, which can now specifically bind the template. Thanks to these specific molecular recognition properties, MIPs have found applications in areas like bio sensors, solid phase extraction, affinity chromatography, catalysis, and drug delivery. Although the MIP concept originated from imprinted silica in the 1930s, imprinted sol-gel materials received little attention afterwards due to the introduction of the more versatile organic polymers as imprinting matrix. However, compared to organic polymers, sol-gels possess higher thermal stability, better water compatibility and larger inner surface area. There have been many applications to biomolecules in aqueous conditions with sol-gel imprinting materials. In this thesis, we have developed organic and silica sol-gel MIPs for applications in cosmetics and drug delivery. MIPs able to adsorb the dandruff-inducing molecule oleic acid (OA) were produced via both the organic and inorganic routes. In the organic MIPs synthesis, different positively charged monomers were used, one of which, acryloyl aminobenzamidine, was specifically synthesized. Although some binding of oleic acid was obtained, specificity and capacity of these polymers were not satisfying. Sol-gel MIPs, on the other hand, exhibited good specific recognition and high binding capacity for OA. A MIP of the composition OA:APTES:TEOS= 1:1.6:1.7 yielded a capacity of 625 mol.g-1 in artificial sebum. Furthermore, tests were carried out to capture OA on stratum corneum and reconstructed skin (Episkin). Less penetration of OA was observed in the presence of a MIP than with a non-imprinted control polymer. Deodorant materials are another topic of this thesis. MIPs that are able to adsorb certain precursors of odorant molecules, the glutamine conjugates of (E)-3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid (3M2H) and 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-hexanoic acid (3H3MH) were prepared. N-hexanoyl glutamine and N-hexanoyl glutamate were used as templates. After optimization of the MIP composition, we found that MIPs synthesized with acryloyl aminobenzamidine as functional monomer had the highest adsorption capacity for N-hexanoyl glutamine, and also recognised the glutamine targets of 3M2H and 3H3MH. Some preliminary promising binding results were obtained in artificial sweat. The third part of this work concerns a drug delivery MIP. Salicylic acid (SA) is a drug used to treat acne. SA-imprinted polymers were prepared via both organic imprinting and the sol-gel process.Compared to organic MIPs, sol-gel MIPs have a higher capacity, 180 mol.g-1, and 7 times higher binding than to a non-imprinted control polymer was observed. Release tests were carried out in different aqueous media, the most efficient drug release was observed in pure water. In conclusion, applications of molecularly imprinted polymers for cosmetics and drug delivery have been investigated. Our results demonstrate the great potential of in particular sol-gel MIPs for these purposes.

Link: 2013COMP2083

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