‘Molecular Imprinted Polymers’ is an emerging branch of modern ‘nanotechnology’. It is the preparation of of artificial binding sites in polymer matrix utilizing ‘guest-host’ molecular relationships. Knowing the principles and methods of this scientific technology is essential to follow ‘Dialectical Homeopathy’ and its explanations of ‘potentization’ and ‘similia similibus curentur’.
‘Molecular imprinting in polymers’ is a fast growing research area that may be interesting to people engaged in developing “drug designing” techniques. A lot of research is currently going on over this subject the world over. This technolog…y involves the imprinting of synthetic polymer substances using enzymes or such macromolecules as ‘guest’ molecules. As a result of imprinting, nano cavities with 3-d spacial configurations complementary to the ‘guest’ molecules will be ‘engraved’ in the interaction surfaces of the polymer matrix ‘hosts’. These imprinted polymers, by virtue of the nanocavities they contain can be used to bind molecules with configurational similarity to ‘guest’ molecules. They are at present widely used in various laboratory assays as powerful adsorption surfaces and molecular sensors. MIPs are also found to be of much practical use in various areas of science and technology.
Molecular imprinted polymers of today cannot be used as therapeutic agents, since they are totally foreign substances to the organism. More over, native enzymes can not degrade the polymers even if they can play a therapeutic role in the organism.
The revolutionary concept of molecular imprinting in proteins is only in its emerging stage, which may have implications in drug designing techniques. It has already been acknowledged that the biological molecules presently classified as antibodies are nothing but native globulin proteins subjected to natural molecular imprinting process with foreign pathologic proteins acting as ‘guest’ molecules. Scientists have already realized the fact that the much discussed pathologic molecules known as ‘prions’ are nothing but disfigured protein molecules subjected to molecular imprinting. Proteins, being polymers with complex and flexible tertiary structures, are expected to be a very good medium for molecular imprinting. Different types of protein based substances, subjected to artificial molecular imprinting, may evolve in the future as effective therapeutic agents and laboratory reagents.
In chemistry, molecular imprinting is a technique to create template-shaped cavities in polymer matrices with memory of the template molecules to be used in molecular recognition. This technique is based on the system used by enzymes for su…bstrate recognition, which is called the “lock and key” model. The active binding site of an enzyme has a unique geometric structure that is particularly suitable for a substrate. A substrate that has a corresponding shape to the site is recognized by selectively binding to the enzyme, while an incorrectly shaped molecule that does not fit the binding site is not recognized.
In a similar way, molecularly imprinted materials are prepared using a template molecule and functional monomers that assemble around the template and subsequently get crosslinked to each other. The functional monomers, which are self-assembled around the template molecule by interaction between functional groups on both the template and monomers, are polymerized to form an imprinted matrix (commonly known in the scientific community as a molecularly imprinted polymer i.e. MIP). Then the template molecule is removed from the matrix under certain conditions, leaving behind a cavity complementary in size and shape to the template. The obtained cavity can work as a selective binding site for a specific template molecule.
A Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP), or plastic antibody is a polymer that is formed in the presence of a molecule that is extracted afterwards, thus leaving complementary cavities behind. These polymers show a certain chemical affinity for the original molecule and can be used to fabricate sensors, catalysis or for separation methods. The functional mechanism is similar to antibodies or enzymes.
“Molecular imprinting is, in fact, making an artificial tiny lock for a specific molecule that serve as miniature key. Like plastic receptors the imprinted polymer grabs specific chemicals. Many basic biological processes, from sensing of od…ours to signalling between nerve and muscle cells, rely on such lock-and-key combinations. For decades, scientists trying to understand these interactions often play locksmith, searching for the right key to fit a particular receptor. Now, the elegance of molecular imprinting in nature has been spurring many scientists to build the locks themselves. They etch a material to create specific cavities which in size, shape and functional groups, fit the target molecule. However, one of the greatest advantages of artificial receptors over naturally occurring ones is freedom of molecular design. Their frameworks are never restricted to proteins, and a variety of skeletons (e.g., carbon chains and fused aromatic rings) can be used. Thus, the stability, flexibility, and other properties are freely modulated according to need. Even functional groups that are not found in nature can be employed in these man-made compounds. Furthermore, when necessary, the activity to response towards outer stimuli (photo-irradiation, pH change, electric or magnetic field, and others) can be provided by using appropriate functional groups. The spectrum of functions is far wider than that of naturally occurring ones. In a molecular imprinting processes, one need a 1) template, 2) functional monomer 3) crosslinker, 4) initiator, 5) porogenic solvent and 6) extraction solvent. According to polymerization method and final polymer format one or some of the reagent can be avoided”. (WIKIPEDIA)
“Over the recent years, interest in the technique of molecular imprinting has increased rapidly, both in the academic community and in the industry. Consequently, significant progress has been made in developing polymerization methods that p…roduce adequate MIP formats with rather good binding properties expecting an enhancement in the performance or in order to suit the desirable final application, such as beads, films or nanoparticles. One of the key issues that have limited the performance of MIPs in practical applications so far is the lack of simple and robust methods to synthesize MIPs in the optimum formats required by the application. Chronologically, the first polymerization method encountered for MIP was based on “bulk” or solution polymerization. This method is the most common technique used by groups working on imprinting especially due to its simplicity and versatility. It is used exclusively with organic solvents mainly with low dielectric constant and consists basically of mixing all the components (template, monomer, solvent and initiator) and subsequently polymerizing them. The resultant polymeric block then pulverized, freed from the template, crushed and sieved to obtain particles of irregular shape and size between 20 and 50 µm. Depending on the target (template) type and the final application of the MIP, MIPs are appeared in different formats such as nano/micro spherical particles, nanowires and thin film or membranes. They are produced with different polymerization techniques like bulk, precipitation, emulsion, suspension, dispersion, gelation, multi-step swelling polymerization. Most of investigators in the field of MIP are making MIP with heuristic techniques such as hierarchical imprinting method. The technique for the first time was used for making MIP by Sellergren et al for imprinting small target molecules. With the same concept, Nematollahzadeh et al developed a general technique, so-called polymerization packed bed, to obtain a hierarchically structured high capacity protein imprinted porous polymer beads by using silica porous particles for protein recognition and capture. “[WIKIPEDIA]
” Niche areas for application of MIPs are in sensors and separation. Despite the current good health of molecular imprinting in general one difficulty which appears to remain to this day is the commercialization of molecularly imprinted polym…ers. Even though no molecularly imprinted silica product has reached the market yet, at least several patents (123 patents, up to 2010, according to Scifinder data base), on molecular imprinting, were held by different groups. That some commercial interest existed is also confirmed by the fact that Sigma-Aldrich produces SupelMIP for Beta-agonists, Beta-blockers, pesticides and some drugs of abuse such as Amphetamine. Fast and cost-effective molecularly imprinted polymer technique has applications in many fields of chemistry, biology and engineering, particularly as an affinity material for sensors, detection of chemical, antimicrobial, and dye, residues in food, adsorbents for solid phase extraction, binding assays, artificial antibodies, chromatographic stationary phase, catalysis, drug development and screening, and by-product removal in chemical reaction”.[WIKIPEDIA]
IF YOU HAVE UNDERSTOOD THE PRINCIPLES AND METHODS OF MOLECULAR IMPRINTING DESCRIBED ABOVE, NOW IT WILL BE EASY FOR YOU TO FOLLOW MY CONCEPTS OF “MOLECULAR IMPRINTING IN WATER-ALCOHOL MATRIX’ INVOLVED IN POTENTIZATION.
I am trying to explain homeopathic ‘potentization’ as a process of ‘molecular imprinting’. If we study the supra-molecular’ structure of water, we can see that water also more or less behave some what like a ‘polymer’. This ‘polymer-like’ supra-molecular structure of water makes it an ideal medium for ‘molecular imprinting’ similar to other polymer substances. Exactly, potentization’ utilizes this phenomenon.
THE IDEA OF “MOLECULAR IMPRINTING IN WATER” IS MY INNOVATION. TO BE MORE SPECIFIC, IN “WATER-ETHYL ALCOHOL MIXTURE”.
I am explaining ‘potentization’ and ‘simila similibus curentur’ on the basis of this concept. Instead of ‘polymers’ used in… conventional molecular imprinting protocols, homeopathy uses ‘water-ethyl alcohol mixture’ as the imprinting matrix. ‘Molecular imprinted water’ is biologically safe, and as such it can be used as therapeutic agents.