This review focuses on recent advances in the use of hydrogels for chemical and biochemical analysis. Specifically, we discuss recognition elements encapsulated within synthetic hydrogels, synthetic polymers grafted with biological molecules that form freestanding gels, and gels made of naturally occurring polymers, such as proteins or polysaccharides. Gels considered here serve as a platform for the analysis or separation of chemical systems with a high degree of selectivity. Analysis or separation was achieved primarily by incorporating biologically active molecules into a gel matrix. Future developments in biologically integrated gel research for chemical analysis are promising due to the diversity of chemical systems yet to be investigated by these versatile analytical platforms.