Recent developments on magnetic molecular imprinted polymers (MMIPs) for sensing, capturing, and monitoring pharmaceutical and agricultural pollutants

Gulgun Aylaz, Joel Kuhn, Elizabeth C. H. T. Lau, Chi-Chung Yeung, Vellaisamy A. L. Roy, Memed Duman, Humphrey H. P. Yiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


Among the many classes of pollutants, bioactive contaminants including pesticides, herbicides, and other pharmaceutical active compounds (PhACs) are causing significant concern. These chemicals have been linked directly to contamination of freshwater and food sources, threatening water and food security. Contamination from antibiotics, one class of PhACs, is also considered to link strongly to the global problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Pollution from these contaminants has hit developing countries harder as a consequence of less stringent legislation on waste discharge from agricultural industries. Current sampling and monitoring methods [e.g. liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC–MS)] are expensive, time-consuming, immobile and require skilled users. Recent development of devices fitted with molecular imprinted polymers (MIPs) have been found to be particularly attractive owing to their low cost, stability, high selectivity and mobility. MIPs also can be used to extract these organic pollutants at low concentrations. The latest development of magnetic MIPs (MMIPs) further facilitates the separation and recovery of these absorbents by using an external magnetic field after the target molecules have been bound, thus avoiding laborious centrifugation and filtration for separation and recovery. The purpose of this perspective is to summarize the recent development of MMIPs in the past ten years. We will focus on their applications in food industries and the agricultural sector. Several potential developments in combined analytical techniques using MMIPs also will be discussed. As pollution to our environment is now a focal point in human life, new analytical techniques based on MMIPs will be of great interest to the science communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1160
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
Early online date23 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • environmental
  • extraction
  • pharmaceuticals
  • remediation
  • removal
  • sorption
  • wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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