A new sorbent for molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction (MISPE) was synthesized to extract and purify alpha-tocopherol (alpha-TP) from vegetable sources. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) were synthesized using methacrylic acid (MAA) as functional monomer and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as crosslinking agent using a photo-polymerization procedure. A thermo-polymerization was also performed but no imprinting effect in the resulting materials was raised. The proposed MISPE protocol could overcome the drawback of traditional detection methods, which require pre-treatments of the samples. The possibility to obtain the selective recognition of alpha-TP from natural samples in aqueous mixtures represents one of the main advantages of our materials. Our procedure involves the direct HPLC injection of eluate without any treatment and above all the use of no toxic and biocompatible organic solvents. After the evaluation of the selectivity of the alpha-TP imprinted polymers, the performance of these materials as solid phase extraction (SPE) sorbents was investigated. Our MISPE-HPLC procedure has a high sensitivity, LOD and LOQ were 3.49 x 10(-7) and 1.16 x 10(-6) mol L-1, respectively, as well as good precision (intraday precision below 3.3% and interday precisions below 6.5%) and recovery (60%). Thus, it can be successfully used for the purification of alpha-TP from bay leaves.
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