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Norepinephrine as new functional monomer for molecular imprinting: An applicative study for the optical sensing of cardiac biomarkers

Baldoneschi, V., Palladino, P., Banchini, M., Minunni, M., Scarano, S.
Biosensors & bioelectronics 2020 v.157 pp. 112161
adsorption, biomarkers, biopolymers, biosensors, case studies, dopamine, heart failure, moieties, molecular imprinting, norepinephrine, surface plasmon resonance, troponin I
The continuous research for alternatives to antibody-based detection drove, in the last decades, the development of numerous strategies. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) emerged thanks to the low-cost and long-term stability features, where the choice of natural functional monomer(s) represents the key step for efficient imprinting of biomolecules. The chemical structure of dopamine (DA), one of the most used natural functional monomers, provided the inspiration for this work. We wondered why norepinephrine (NE) that differs from dopamine only for an additional hydroxyl group was not investigated at all in biosensing applications. In fact, there is only one paper exploiting polynorepinephrine (PNE) in molecular recognition applications, taking advantage of molecular imprinting, but not for biosensing purposes. In contrast, hundreds of papers describe polydopamine-based sensors. Therefore, we firstly investigated how the additional hydroxyl group of NE could affect the properties of the resulting polymer, and how these properties could be exploited for biosensing applications. The results highlighted the reduced non-specific adsorption of proteins onto PNE with respect to dopamine polymer. Furthermore, as a case study, we successfully developed a PNE-based imprinted biosensor for the early detection of Troponin I, a crucial biomarker for heart failure, by coupling the MIP biosensor with surface plasmon resonance (SPR) detection. The results indicate the feasible use of imprinted PNE as synthetic receptor for biomolecules, opening new perspectives for this biopolymer, so far not considered, and encouraging further investigations on its potential application in biosensing.