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Molecular imprinting is a promising strategy to selectively adsorb viruses, but it requires discerning and validating epitopes that serve as effective imprinting templates. In this work, glycoprotein-imprinted particles were synthesized for coronavirus capture. Adsorption was maximized at pH 6 (the glycoprotein isoelectric point) where the glycoprotein-imprinted particles outperformed non-imprinted particles, adsorbing 4.96 × 106  ± 3.33 × 103 versus 3.54 × 106  ± 1.39 × 106 median tissue culture infectious dose/mg of the target coronavirus, human coronavirus - organ culture 43, within the first 30 min (p = 0.012). During competitive adsorption, with pH adjustment (pH 6), the glycoprotein-imprinted particles adsorbed more target virus than non-target coronavirus (human coronavirus - Netherland 63) with 2.34 versus 1.94 log removal in 90 min (p < 0.01). In contrast, the non-imprinted particles showed no significant difference in target versus non-target virus removal. Electrostatic potential calculation shows that the human coronavirus - organ culture 43 glycoprotein has positively charged pockets at pH 6, which may facilitate adsorption at lower pH values. Therefore, tuning the target virus glycoprotein charge via pH adjustment enhanced adsorption by minimizing repulsive electrostatic interactions with the particles. Overall, these results highlight the effective use of glycoprotein-imprinted particles for coronavirus capture and discern the merits and limitations of glycoprotein imprinting for the capture of enveloped viruses. © 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


Naomi L Senehi, Matthew R Ykema, Ruonan Sun, Rafael Verduzco, Lauren B Stadler, Yizhi J Tao, Pedro J J Alvarez. Protein-imprinted particles for coronavirus capture from solution. Journal of separation science. 2022 Dec;45(23):4318-4326

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PMID: 36168868

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