Project II: Molecularly Imprinted Polymers - polymeric Cargos – Biomarkers

In Nature, non- covalent interactions will probably form the basis of molecular recognition. Examples of natural molecular recognition include enzyme-substrate associations or antibody-antigen. These same types of interactions can be incorporated into a polymeric network to produce a material capable of mimicking the biological recognition while maintaining many practical advantages. Indeed, these synthetic materials (MIPs ) show several advantages over enzymes or antibodies, including low cost, superior thermal and chemical stabilities, and a molecular recognition field extremely large because the polymer composition can be adapted to all varieties of molecules.

A MIP is formed by placing a molecule (template) in the initial mixture of a functionalized monomer, a crosslinking agent, a porogenic solvent and an initiator. The polymerization is initiated by UV radiation. During the reaction, the template is molded into the growing polymer backbone. When the polymerization is completed and that the template is removed, the polymer may selectively "recognize" and "adsorb " the molecule selected as footprint in a loaded matrix containing a plurality of structurally related compounds thereof.

These synthetic polymers with molecular recognition are provided with a high specificity for the template molecule, while being easier to use and integrate into assay devices and drug delivery.

Our team has developed an expertise in the design, synthesis and characterization of molecularly imprinted polymer or MIP for the selective recognition of nucleoside and nucleotide compounds in order to analyze them in complex matrix, such as biological fluids. The following illustration shows the chromatogram of a human urine before and after the use of a MIP of 7-methylguanosine, a biomarker of human purine metabolism disorders.

We use the MIP technology to develop new MIP-DDS (Drug Delivery System) to vectorize and control-release some selected nucleosides.  We are working on this new use of MIPs for releasing an antiviral drug of acute viral infections Influenzae type, by aerosolized therapy.

Development of new methods for qualitative and quantitative analysis of antiviral nucleosides and nucleotides in human biological fluids, are another priority of our research. This axis is reinforced by the recent association to our team of Dr. Si- Ahmed (Hepatologist, Hospital Orléans), who allows us to develop a translational research focus that finally connects the chemist who created the drug and the clinician use it daily (From Bench to Bedside ). The desired goals is to establish the pharmacokinetics of new antiviral used, alone or in cocktails , against hepatitis C and B, or seek and dose nucleoside biomarkers in patients showing complications such as liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma.