Membrane separations using molecularly imprinted polymers.
A review. This review presents an overview on the promising field of molecularly imprinted membranes (MIM). The focus is onto the sepn. of mols. in liq. mixts. via membrane transport selectivity. First, the status of synthetic membranes and membrane sepn. technol. is briefly summarized, emphasizing the need for novel membranes with higher selectivities. Innovative principles for the prepn. of membranes with improved or novel functionality include self-assembly or supramol. aggregation as well as the use of templates. Based on a detailed anal. of the literature, the main established prepn. methods for MIM are outlined: simultaneous membrane formation and imprinting, or prepn. of imprinted composite membranes. Then, the sepn. capability of MIM is discussed for two different types, as a function of their barrier structure. Microporous MIM can continuously sep. mixts. based on facilitated diffusion of the template, or they can change their permeability in the presence of the template (\"gate effect\"). Macroporous MIM can be developed towards mol.-specific membrane adsorbers. Emerging further combinations of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs), esp. MIP nanoparticles or microgels, with membranes and membrane processes are briefly outlined as well. Finally, the application potential for advanced MIM sepn. technologies is summarized.
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