Hierarchical imprinting was developed to prepare the protein imprinted materials, as the artificial antibody, for the selective depletion of HSA from the human serum proteome. Porcine serum albumin (PSA) was employed as the dummy template for the fabrication of the recognition sites. To demonstrate the advantages of the hierarchical imprinting, molecularly imprinted polymers prepared by hierarchical imprinting technique (h-MIPs) were compared with those obtained by bulk imprinting (b-MIPs), in terms of the binding capacity, adsorption kinetics, selectivity and synthesis reproducibility. The binding capacity of h-MIPs could reach 12 mg g-1. And saturation binding could be reached in less than 20 min for the h-MIPs. In the protein mixture, h-MIPs exhibit excellent selectivity for PSA, with imprinting factors as about 3.6, much higher than those for nonlate proteins. For the proteomic application, the identified protein group number in serum treated by h-MIPs was increased to 422, which is 21% higher than that obtained from the original serum, meanwhile the identified protein group number for the Albumin Removal kit was only 376. The results demonstrate that protein imprinted polymers prepared by hierarchical imprinting technique, might become the artificial antibodies for the selective depletion of high abundance proteins in proteome study.
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