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Book Review Molecular Imprinting. By Makoto Komiyama T. Takeuchi T. Mukawa and H

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Angewandte
Books
Chemie
Molecular Imprinting
By Makoto
Komiyama, T. Takeuchi, T. Mukawa
and H. Asanuma.
Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 2002. 147
pp., hardcover
£ 89.00.—ISBN
3-527-30569-6
“Molecular imprinting” is a methodology that consists of creating selective
binding sites for a target molecule
within a polymer matrix, by allowing
polymerization to immobilize various
monomers bearing recognition functions complementary to the target and
preassembled with it. The target molecule acts as a template for the polymerization, and literally imprints its shape
and polarity in the matrix.
The mechanisms involved in molecular imprinting are still not well understood. Nevertheless, it is a very practical
methodology and its impact has been
considerable. Since the original experiments, about 25 years ago, the field has
steadily expanded into numerous
branches of chemistry. This rapid
growth can for a large part be ascribed
to multiple applications that molecular
imprinting may have or has already had,
especially in sensors and in separation
science. Many of us have started to
include molecular imprinting in the
courses we teach to graduate or undergraduate students in polymer, supramolecular, or (bio-)analytical chemistry.
To help the teacher to illustrate his
course, and the student to consolidate
and deepen his knowledge, the literature offers an enormous wealth of
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 3983 – 3984
review articles and technical books on
various aspects of molecular imprinting:
no less than 60 were published between
1998 and 2001. However, no textbook
on the subject was available to my
knowledge, and the initiative by
Komiyama and co-authors to write
such a textbook is very welcome.
Their book essentially consists of
eight chapters, as the ninth “chapter” is
just a half-page conclusion. Chapters 2–
6 are devoted to the methodology of
molecular imprinting itself: its principle,
the so-called covalent and noncovalent
approaches, the choice of functional
monomers and polymerization conditions to be used according to the nature
of the template molecules, and the
evaluation of imprinting efficiency by
various physical methods. This part of
the book is focused on the most
common and simple method of molecular imprinting, the use of free radical
initiated polymerization reactions in
organic solvents. Considerable efforts
have been made to present all the
important aspects of molecular imprinting in a form that is within the reach of
graduate and even undergraduate students. The authors have adopted a
writing style that is enthusiastic and
easy to read. The educational purpose
of the book is well served by clear
figures and numerous experimental
details, which illustrate the practicality
of the procedures and may also provide
the basis for laboratory experiments.
Each chapter is completed by a few
specific references.
The book starts with an introductory
chapter which very briefly (too briefly)
presents the notion of molecular recognition, the importance of naturally
occurring receptors, their synthetic
counterparts, and the usefulness of
receptors for practical applications.
These topics are all appropriate in an
introduction to molecular imprinting,
but the presentation is too short and
somewhat superficial. It could have
been more didactic to illustrate the
shape complementarity and various
noncovalent interactions involved in
molecular recognition. I was surprised
that template effects are not clearly
defined and illustrated anywhere in the
book. In fact, Chapter 1 aims primarily
at stimulating the reader's interest in the
molecular imprinting approach and conwww.angewandte.org
vincing him/her of its superiority when
compared to tailor-made receptors.
Again, the enthusiasm of the authors is
apparent, but such a judgement is arguable and misleading in the context of a
textbook. Besides, the comparison does
not proceed in a fair manner. For
example, the authors fail to explain
that molecular imprinting does not
lead to large binding constants. It
would have been useful to include a
table summarizing the respective advantages and drawbacks of molecular
imprinting and receptor design, and to
allow the reader to conclude that the
methods aim at different objectives.
Chapters 7 and 8 focus on the
applications and the recent developments of molecular imprinting, respectively. Chapter 7 contains useful tables
citing review articles and examples from
the literature in which various functional monomers have been used. These
tables have up to 85 entries, and the
absence of any classification makes
reading them difficult. Approximately
13 pages are then devoted to the
description of applications in sensors,
extraction, and catalysis. This section
should have been an essential part of the
story. Unfortunately, the writing style of
this chapter is that of a review article,
trying to summarize vast research projects each in a couple sentences. In
contrast to the rest of the book, this
section will probably be of poor educative value. For example, many students
will find “QCM sensoring using molecularly imprinted polymers” beyond their
understanding when neither sensoring
nor the principle of QCM measurements is defined. The same problem
applies to Section 7.5 on molecularly
imprinted membranes, which assumes
that the reader already knows how
membranes are made and what they
are useful for, or to Section 7.8 on
catalysis, which assumes that the reader
knows about catalytic antibodies.
Chapter 8 is in the same vein as
Chapters 2–6: clear, concise, and well
illustrated. It presents important recent
achievements and challenges of molecular imprinting methodology, such as
molecular imprinting in water, molecular imprinting using inorganic polymers, and the imprinting of transition
state analogues to produce new polymerization catalysts.
' 2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
3983
Books
Apart from the few criticisms mentioned above concerning Chapters 1 and
7, this book addresses the essential
aspects of molecular imprinting and
will be helpful to students. It is short
(141 pages in A5 format) and can be
read alone, or as a complement to a
course. A researcher new in the field
would also appreciate it as an introduction, before moving on to more specialized literature.
Ivan Huc
Institut Europ2en de Chimie et
Biologie (IECB)
CNRS-University of Bordeaux I
Pessac (France)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200385999
Introduction to Macromolecular
Crystallography
By Alexander
McPherson. John
Wiley & Sons, New
York 2003. 237 pp.,
softcover £
49.95.—ISBN 0471-25122-4
The application of X-ray crystallography (and also, increasingly, NMR spectroscopy) to the structural analysis of
biological macromolecules is now a
well-established discipline in the biosciences (in the broadest sense) and in
pharmaceutical
industry
research
(rational drug design), and makes
important contributions to understanding these complex molecules at the
atomic level. For some time now, the
emphasis of research has moved beyond
developing a physical description of the
structure and folding behavior of the
macromolecule, and now includes the
important question of how the structure
3984
of the molecule determines its function
in a wider biological context. Consequently, modern structural biology is
now no longer exclusively the domain of
physicists and chemists, but is increasingly seen as belonging to the biosciences, based on the enormous technical
advances that have occurred in the last
ten years. However, the increasing automation of the individual steps in such
research carries with it a danger that the
mathematical and physical fundamentals of structural analysis will become
more and more neglected.
With the aim of countering that
trend, Alexander McPherson has written this textbook, which has arisen out
of several lecture courses on protein
crystallography. It is intended to give
researchers and users the basic knowledge needed for understanding the
methods, in a form that is also accessible
to students who do not have a background (or indeed a special interest) in
mathematics and physics. The book
achieves that purpose very well, by
providing an excellent and clear introduction to macromolecular crystallography. In an easily readable and conversational style, it explains many essential
principles and methods very effectively,
not least through the many useful additional comments alongside the main
text, and the illustrations, which are
mostly excellent.
Chapter 1 gives a preliminary overview of the structures of molecules and
the ways of determining them, thus
providing a foundation on which the
following chapters then build in a logical
sequence. Chapter 2 deals with the basic
principles needed to understand crystals
and their symmetry properties, then
Chapters 3 and 4 explain the geometrical fundamentals of X-ray diffraction.
Chapter 4 is the only one that requires
the reader to have a little previous
knowledge of mathematics and physics,
and therefore it will probably be the
book's main hurdle for students who are
mainly interested in the results rather
than the theory. Here it would have
been useful to provide a recapitulation
' 2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
www.angewandte.org
and summary of the most important
mathematical expressions (e.g., Bragg's
Law and the electron density formula)
at the end of the chapter. Chapter 5
describes the kinds of information about
the symmetry and space group of a
crystal that can be derived from X-ray
diffraction data, and shows many
worked examples. In practice, of
course, that task was taken over long
ago by data-processing programs, but
the principles explained in Chapter 5 are
nevertheless essential, expecially when
one encounters “problem” crystals.
Chapters 6 and 7 are concerned with
the central problem of crystal-structure
analysis, the “phase problem”. These
two chapters concentrate on the heavy
atom method, which is described very
clearly, but the methods of molecular
substitution and anomalous dispersion,
which are no less important, are treated
rather too briefly. Lastly, Chapter 8
discusses electron-density maps and
their interpretation. Unfortunately
some of the figures shown here are
rather outdated—for example, the
“minimaps” now belong only to the
past. Also it is surprising that this part
of the book does not include more
details of the various structure refinement techniques.
This is a textbook, and it is certainly
not intended to have the character of a
“cookbook”. Thus, it is very suitable as a
book to be used in conjunction with a
course of lectures on structural biology,
and it provides the budding molecular
structural scientist with the theoretical
background needed to master the world
of crystals, elementary cells, and electron-density maps. McPherson, a crystallography specialist, has produced an
excellent book for students.
Dirk Heinz
Abteilung Strukturbiologie
Gesellschaft f?r Biotechnologische
Forschung (GBF)
Braunschweig (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200385994
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 3983 – 3984
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