Development and Fabrication of a Molecularly Imprinted Polymer-Based Electroanalytical Sensor for the Determination of Acyclovir

Abdullah Al Faysal, Ahmet Cetinkaya, Sariye Irem Kaya, Taner Erdoğan, Sibel A. Ozkan*, Ayşegül Gölcü*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acyclovir (ACV), a synthetic nucleoside derivative of purine, is one of the most potent antiviral medications recommended in the specific management of varicella-zoster and herpes simplex viruses. The molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) was utilized to create an effective and specific electrochemical sensor using a straightforward photopolymerization process to determine ACV. The polymeric thin coating was developed using the template molecule ACV, a functional monomer acrylamide, a basic monomer 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, a cross-linker ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, and a photoinitiator 2-hydroxy-2-methyl propiophenone on the exterior of the glassy carbon electrode (GCE). Scanning electron microscopy, attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry were employed for the purpose of characterizing the constructed sensor (AM-ACV@MIP/GCE). Differential pulse voltammetry and a 5 mM ferrocyanide/ferricyanide ([Fe(CN)6]3-/4-) redox reagent were used to detect the ACV binding to the specific cavities on MIP. The study involves density functional theory (DFT) calculations, which were conducted to investigate template-functional monomer interactions thoroughly, calculate template-functional monomer interaction energies, and determine the optimal template/functional monomer ratio. DFT calculations were performed using Becke’s three-parameter hybrid functional with the Lee-Yang-Parr correlation functional (B3LYP) method and 6-31G(d,p) basis set. The sensor exhibits linear performance throughout the concentration region 1 × 10-11 to 1 × 10-10 M, and the limit of detection and limit of quantification were 7.15 × 10-13 M and 2.38 × 10-12 M, respectively. For the electrochemical study of ACV, the sensor demonstrated high accuracy, precision, robustness, and a short detection time. Furthermore, the developed electrochemical sensor exhibited exceptional recovery in tablet dosage form and commercial human blood samples, with recoveries of 99.40 and 100.44%, respectively. The findings showed that the AM-ACV@MIP/GCE sensor would effectively be used to directly assess pharmaceuticals from actual specimens and would particularly detect ACV compared to structurally similar pharmaceutical compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9564-9576
Number of pages13
JournalACS Omega
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.


The authors would like to thank the support of the grant of Istanbul Technical University (Scientific Research Projects Unit) under TGA-2023-44021 and TDK-2023-44961 projects. The computational studies reported in this paper were performed at Kocaeli University. Ahmet Cetinkaya thanks the financial support from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TUBITAK) under the BIDEB/2218 National Postdoctoral Research Scholarship Program and the ARDEB/1004 Center of Excellence Support Program (project no. 20AG003).

FundersFunder number
1004 Center of Excellence Support Program20AG003
Kocaeli Üniversitesi
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu
Istanbul Teknik ÜniversitesiTGA-2023-44021, TDK-2023-44961


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