Molecular imprinting is an effective technique for preparing recognition sites which act as synthetic receptors on polymeric surfaces. Herein, we synthesized MIP surfaces with specific binding sites for streptavidin and characterized them at nanoscale by using two different atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques. While the single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) reveals the unbinding kinetics between streptavidin molecule and binding sites, simultaneous topography and recognition imaging (TREC) was employed, for the first time, to directly map the binding sites on streptavidin imprinted polymers. Streptavidin modified AFM cantilever showed specific unbinding events with an unbinding force around 300 pN and the binding probability was calculated as 35.2% at a given loading rate. In order to prove the specificity of the interaction, free streptavidin molecules were added to AFM liquid cell and the binding probability was significantly decreased to 7.6%. Moreover, the recognition maps show that the smallest recognition site with a diameter of around similar to 21 nm which corresponds to a single streptavidin molecule binding site. We believe that the potential of combining SMFS and TREC opens new possibilities for the characterization of MIP surfaces with single molecule resolution under physiological conditions. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.