Fabrication of a GMA-co-EDMA Monolith in a 2.0 mm i.d. Polypropylene Housing.
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Polymers are interesting housing materials for the fabrication of inexpensive monolithic chromatography and solid phase extraction (SPE) devices. Challenges arise when polymeric monoliths are formed in non-conical, cylindrical tubes of larger diameter due to potential monolith detachment from the housing wall resulting in loss of separation performance and mechanical stability. Here, a two-step protocol is applied to ensure formation of robust homogeneous methacrylate monolith in polypropylene (PP) tubing with a diameter of 2.0 mm. Detailed Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) imaging confirm the successful pre-modification of the tubing wall with an anchoring layer of cross-linked ethylene dimethacrylate (EDMA). Subsequent formation of an EDMA-glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) monolith in the PP tube resulted in a homogeneous monolithic polymer with enhanced mechanical stability as compared to non-anchored monoliths.