7th Graduate Student Symposium on Molecular Imprinting
Academic co-hosts seventh GSSMIP series in Portugal
Dr Andy Hall has just returned from co-hosting the seventh and latest incarnation of the GSSMIP series at the Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal. Around 40 graduate students, researching in eight different EU countries - plus Turkey & Japan – were welcomed to share their latest research in the area of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). The meeting was hosted by the group of Prof Goreti Sales (BIOMARK) and co-organised by Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis (QU Belfast).
MIPs are synthetic polymer receptors designed to be capable of selective recognition of entities from small drug molecules and environmental pollutants to large proteins and even cells! Their tailored recognition properties make them attractive as selective sorbents in a diverse range of applications, such as separations, sensing and drug discovery/delivery.
Over the course of the two-day meeting, there were 30 oral and 6 poster presentations, all of very high quality, spanning a wide range of imprinting topics. Current trends in the field were well represented and a large number of lectures concerned peptide/protein imprinting and the use of MIPs in electrochemical sensor devices. However, there were also lectures on diverse topics, such as the use of MIPs for the fluorescent detection of lead in the aquatic environment and the use of imprinted materials based on alginates (from sea weed!) for tissue engineering.
Two plenary lectures were also delivered. Prof Ian Nicholls (Linnaeus University, Sweden) highlighted the importance of thermodynamics to the imprinting process in his tutorial lecture “The thermodynamic basis for molecular recognition and their consequences for molecular imprinting”, while Prof Manuel Azenha (University of Porto, Portugal) contrasted imprinting in organic and inorganic matrices in his talk “Beyond imprinted polymers: bioimprinting and sol-gel.”
The prize for the best oral communication went to Philippa Mitchell (University of Birmingham, UK) for her talk “Surface-Initiated Radical Polymerisation for the Precise Generation of 3-Dimensional Glycoprotein Recognition Sites” while the prize for the best poster was won by Isabel Wilhelm (Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, Pfinztal, Germany) for her work “Removal of heavy metal ions in wastewater: molecularly imprinted polymers versus algae chlorella vulgaris”.
The organisers wish to express their gratitude to the Materials Division of the RSC for the financial support which allowed this meeting to take place as a free event. We also thank the Polytechnic of Portugal for support and the Sales “army” for their organisation of the event!
We also thank all the graduate students who attended for their contribution to the success of the meeting and look forward to the next Symposium – in 2019 – details of which will be released next year.
For more information on this and previous events, as well as the next Symposium, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.