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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 464265, 9 pages
Research Article

Polymer Catalysts Imprinted with Metal Ions as Biomimics of Metalloenzymes

Department of Polymer and Carbonaceous Materials, Faculty of Chemistry, Wroclaw University of Technology, Wybrzeze Wyspianskiego 27, 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland

Received 15 March 2013; Accepted 2 July 2013

Academic Editor: Ibrahim Narin

Copyright © 2013 Joanna Czulak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This work presents the preparation and properties of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) with catalytic centers that mimic the active sites of metalloenzymes. The MIP synthesis was based on suspension polymerization of functional monomers (4-vinylpyridine and acrylonitrile) with trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate as a crosslinker in the presence of transition metal ions and 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol as a template. Four metal ions have been chosen for imprinting from among the microelements that are the most essential in the native enzymes: Cu2+, Co2+, Mn2+, and Zn2+. To prepare catalysts, the required loading of metal ions was obtained during sorption process. The catalysts imprinted with Cu2+, Co2+, and Zn2+ were successfully used for hydroquinone oxidation in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The Mn2+-imprinted catalyst showed no activity due to the insufficient metal loading. Cu2+ MIP showed the highest efficiency. In case of Cu- and Co-MIP catalysts, their activity was additionally increased by the use of surface imprinting technique.