Applications of molecularly imprinted polymers for solid-phase extraction of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics from environmental waters and biological samples

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The occurrence of pharmaceuticals used as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and analgesics in the aquatic environment is a threat to humans and aquatic species at large. The primary route of these pharmaceuticals to aquatic environment is through human waste such as urine and faeces. The application of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) in the solid-phase extraction (SPE) of such pollutants from environmental and biological samples is important for the pre-concentration of compounds and selectivity of the analytical methods. To date, there are still limited commercial suppliers of MIPs. However, it is easy to synthesize such polymers via non-covalent imprinting approach using easily available and affordable reagents. Therefore, the applications of MIPs in the SPE of NSAIDs and analgesics from environmental and biological samples are reviewed. This is very important because despite the fact that review articles on applications of MIPs for organic compounds have been reported, very little has focussed on NSAIDs and analgesics which are the major studied pharmaceuticals in the environment and biological samples. The review also brings out important aspects of common reagents used including the template molecules during MIP synthesis. Application and future trends are also discussed. Gaps such as little use of environmental friendly reagents such as ionic liquids have been identified. Also, the lack of MIP applications to some compounds such as fenoprofen has been observed which is likely to be developed in the near future.

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