KSEF R&D Excellence: Materials Systems for the Removal of Steroidal Estrogens from Surface Waters

  • Jay, Michael (PI)
  • Penn, Lynn (Former PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Project Summary Title: Materials System for Removal of Steroidal Estrogen from Surface Waters Principal Investigator: Lynn S. Penn, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Kentucky Co-Principal Investigator: Michael Jay, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky Man's input of steroidal estrogen into the earth's surface waters is believed to be responsible for disruption of normal endocrine function of fish and other wildlife. We propose to develop a materials system for removal of this contaminant from surface waters. Our envisioned system is a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) in the form of an extremely thin film with large surface area. The traditional MIP is a bulk polymeric matrix containing receptors that have both the specific geometry and complementary chemical functionality for trapping target, biologically active molecules. MIP is constructed by polymerizing the matrix around examples of the target molecule and then removing them to leave holes. However, the effectiveness of traditional MIP in capturing target molecules from a passing stream is crippled by poor accessibility of the interior receptors and also by the overlap of the timescales of the trapping and release processes. Our proposed system uses the MIP concept in the form of polymer chains permanently tethered to high-surface-area inorganic particles. The result would be very thin, uniform layers of polymer matrix imprinted with receptors for the target estrogen molecule. (The proposed coinvestigators, L. Penn and M. Jay, possess the combined expertise.) The extreme thinness of the polymer layer will allow ready diffusion of the target molecules (steroidal estrogen) to the receptors where they will be trapped. The uniformity of the layer will result in a narrow distribution of diffusion distances, reducing the overlap between trapping and release timescales. The use of permanently tethered polymer chains to obtain uniform, thin layers, coupled with recent advances in MIP (i.e., in available monomers and cross-linkers) has high potential to lead to an effective and renewable scavenging system to remove contaminants such as steroidal estrogen from surface waters. Keywords: 1. Steroidal estrogen, 2. purification of surface waters, 3. environmental pollutants, 4. molecularly imprinted polymers, 5. uniform tethered polymer layers v
Effective start/end date5/1/053/31/08


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