A Nanosensor for Explosives Detection Based on Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) and Surfaced-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS)

Report No. ARL-TR-5092
Authors: Ellen Holthoff and Dimitra Stratis-Cullum
Date/Pages: March 2010; 24 pages
Abstract: Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) can be used as artificial recognition elements for target chemical analytes of interest. Molecular imprinting involves arranging polymerizable functional monomers around a template followed by polymerization and template removal. The selectivity for the target analyte is based on the spatial orientation of the binding site and covalent or noncovalent interactions between the functional monomer and the analyte. In a sensor format, the recognition event is monitored with some form of transduction. MIP technology is still in its infancy and limitations such as non-specific binding may be overcome using surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) as an integrated transduction method for enhanced sensor performance. Compared to other spectroscopic techniques employed with MIPs, SERS should be less affected by the cross-selectivity resulting from non-specific adsorption to the polymer. This report details the development of a MIP-SERS sensing platform for explosive targets.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2010