Molecular Imprinted Polymer (MIP) technology is a class of molecular science known for its ability to perform highly selective extractions of desired target compounds from complex mixtures. In general, the polymer is prepared with defined molecular cavities designed to allow only a specific target compound to be captured. The pockets are prepared by including the target compound (or a similar proxy) as a template during the polymerization process, which is then removed to provide the active MIP.
This “lock and key” process, when deployed appropriately, allows for efficient extraction of the target molecule in a mixture which contains much higher levels of background molecules (i.e. Au vs Cu) while leaving virtually none of the target molecule unadsorbed (efficiencies down to the parts per billion level)