Author ORCID Identifier 0000-0003-1480-5240

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Matthew S Halquist, PhD


Sample preparation is a critical steps in bioanalysis. Traditional methods such as solid-phase extraction and liquid-liquid extraction are laborious and ultimately incapable of properly separating target analytes from matrix and interferents. The co-extraction of these components interferes with the analytical instrument’s ability to properly detect and quantitate analytes. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are synthetic polymers that have been “imprinted” with a template analyte in a co-polymer system. MIPs are capable of selectively extracting analytes from complex biological matrices and can be employed in off-line, benchtop extractions or for on/in-line instrument extractions. MIPs offer faster and more selective sample preparation, leading to high throughput sample analysis with minimal matrix effects. The goal of this study was to create a MIP system for the direct analysis of target analytes in bioanalytical systems. A commercial MIP designed for tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) was characterized for cross-selectivity with other tobacco analytes, and the extraction of the urinary metabolite cotinine was developed with the commercial MIP. A direct analysis method was developed by packing the commercial TSNA MIP material into an empty stainless, steel HPLC column. A method for the quantitation of TSNAs in nicotine and tobacco products was developed and validated, characterized, and applied to real world samples. Finally, an in-house polymer specific for cotinine was developed and characterized. The results of this study can be utilized to develop MIPs for other matrices and apply them towards the direct analysis of target analytes in biological matrices with minimal benchtop preparation prior to instrumental analysis.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Tuesday, July 18, 2023