In this study, cryogel-based molecularly imprinted composite cartridges were designed for the rapid, efficient, and selective preconcentration of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) from water samples. First, a BaP-imprinted poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-N-methacryloyl-(L)-phenylalanine) composite cartridge was synthesized under semi-frozen conditions and characterized by scanning electron microscopy, elemental analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and swelling tests. After the optimization of preconcentration parameters, i.e., pH and initial BaP concentration, the selectivity and preconcentration efficiency, and reusability of these cartridges were also evaluated. In selectivity experiments, BaP imprinted composite cartridge exhibited binding capacities 3.09, 9.52, 8.87, and 8.77-fold higher than that of the non-imprinted composite cartridge in the presence of competitors, such as benzo[b]fluoranthene (BbF), benzo[k]fluoranthene (BkF), indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene (lcdP), and 1-naphthol, respectively. The method detection limit (MDL), relative standard deviation (RSD) and preconcentration efficiency (PE) of the synthesized composite cartridge were calculated as 24.86 mu g/L, 1.60%, and 349,6%, respectively. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.