The evaluation of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) as selective sorbents for the solid-phase extraction of sildenafil and its principal metabolite, desmethylsildenafil, was investigated. Two MIPs were synthesised using structural analogues of sildenafil as templates, and a comparison of the performance of the two MIP sorbents in organic and aqueous media was performed. Additionally, the feasibility of applying molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction (MISPE) to the clean-up of plasma samples containing sildenafil and desmethylsildenafil was investigated. A preliminary, quantitative MISPE for the determination of both compounds in plasma was also performed. The results showed that the MIPs used for the selective extraction of sildenafil gave better compound recovery when aqueous samples were used in comparison to organic-based samples. A preliminary, quantitative MISPE of sildenafil and desmethylsildenafil indicated that the imprinted materials could be used successfully as SPE sorbents for sample pre-treatment for the determination of sildenafil, and related compounds, in plasma.
- molecularly imprinted polymers
- solid-phase extraction