Biosensors are a promising tool offering the possibility of low cost and fast analytical screening in point-of-care diagnostics and for on-site detection in the field. Most biosensors in routine use ensure their selectivity/specificity by including natural receptors as biorecognition element. These materials are however too expensive and hard to obtain for every biochemical molecule of interest in environmental and clinical practice. Molecularly imprinted polymers have emerged through time as an alternative to natural antibodies in biosensors. In theory, these materials are stable and robust, presenting much higher capacity to resist to harsher conditions of pH, temperature, pressure or organic solvents. In addition, these synthetic materials are much cheaper than their natural counterparts while offering equivalent affinity and sensitivity in the molecular recognition of the target analyte. Imprinting technology and biosensors have met quite recently, relying mostly on electrochemical detection and enabling a direct reading of different analytes, while promoting significant advances in various fields of use. Thus, this review encompasses such developments and describes a general overview for building promising biomimetic materials as biorecognition elements in electrochemical sensors. It includes different molecular imprinting strategies such as the choice of polymer material, imprinting methodology and assembly on the transduction platform. Their interface with the most recent nanostructured supports acting as standard conductive materials within electrochemical biomimetic sensors is pointed out.
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