A molecularly imprinted composite cryogel (MICC) was prepared for depletion of hemoglobin from human blood prior to use in proteome applications. Poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) based MICC was prepared with high gel fraction yields up to 90%, and characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscopy, swelling studies, flow dynamics and surface area measurements. MICC exhibited a high binding capacity and selectivity for hemoglobin in the presence of immunoglobulin G, albumin and myoglobin. MICC column was successfully applied in fast protein liquid chromatography system for selective depletion of hemoglobin for human blood. The depletion ratio was highly increased by embedding microspheres into the cryogel (93.2%). Finally, MICC can be reused many times with no apparent decrease in hemoglobin adsorption capacity. Copyright (C) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.