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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2013, Article ID 540240, 4 pages
Research Article

A Novel Molecularly Imprinted Polymer for the Selective Removal of Chlorophyll from Heavily Pigmented Green Plant Extracts prior to Instrumental Analysis

1Department of Earth & Environmental Science (Chemistry Unit), Botswana International University of Science & Technology, P.O. Box 041, Bontleng, Gaborone, Botswana
2Department of Chemistry, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
3Agilent Technologies, Inc., 2850 Centerville Road, Wilmington, DE 19808, USA
4Department of Chemistry, Center for Analysis and Synthesis, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

Received 11 January 2013; Accepted 16 March 2013

Academic Editor: Chiyang He

Copyright © 2013 Bareki Shima Batlokwa 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.


A novel molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) powder designed for the selective removal of interfering chlorophyll pigment from heavily pigmented green plant extracts during pesticide residue analysis or analysis for bioactives in natural product research is reported. The polymer powder imprinted with chlorophyll was synthesized by copolymerizing the functional and cross-linking monomers, methacrylic acid (MAA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA), respectively. During batch rebinding experiments, the MIP effectively removed chlorophyll from neat chlorophyll standards, green medicinal plants, and spinach extracts with determined absorbance as high as 2.501 absorbance units (Au) to as low as 0.084 Au after the optimum quantity of the MIP (170 mg mL−1) was added as the adsorbent prior to instrumental analysis. The determined 0.084 Au absorbance was far below the absorbance of 2% chlorophyll (0.401 Au) regarded as the cut-off point for interfering chlorophyll. Thus the newly developed polymer presents itself as a suitable adsorbent for the selective removal of chlorophyll from heavily pigmented, chlorophyll containing extracts.