Molecularly-imprinted polymer sensors: realising their potential

Uzun L., Turner A. P. F.

BIOSENSORS & BIOELECTRONICS, vol.76, pp.131-144, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 76
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.bios.2015.07.013
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.131-144


In parallel with recent developments in communications, nanotechnology and materials sciences, there has been extraordinary growth in the area of biosensors, with almost half of the total number of papers ever published (1962-2015) appearing in the last five-years (2010-2015). Molecular imprinting offers a route to the creation of specific and selective cavities in a 3D-polymeric network, which are complementary not only to the size and shape of a target species, but also provide interaction points and a coordination sphere around the template molecule. Given the challenges facing biosensor technologists, it is natural that this approach to create potentially highly stable synthetic ligands as an alternative to, or to compliment natural receptors, should emerge as a key line of interdisciplinary research. Despite the profuse amount of recent literature on molecularly-imprinted polymers (MIPs) and some limited commercial activity, these promising materials still need to overcome some limitations before taking their place in analytical market. In this review, we have focused on the most promising advances in MIP-based biosensors to illustrate how close to market they really are. We present our material under five main sections covering computational design, polymerisation strategies, material combinations, recent sensor designs and manufacturing issues. Each section provides technical details and evaluates the effect on sensor performance. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.