Micro and Nanofabrication of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers
Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are artificial antibody mimics that offer a sophisticated tool for the selective and sensitive recognition of target molecules. These tailor-made polymers have, compared to their natural biological counterparts, a superior chemical and physical stability, and can more easily be engineered and integrated into standard industrial processes. They are therefore excellent candidates for integration into chemical sensors, biosensors and biochips. For interfacing MIPs with a transducer, modern micro- and nanofabrication methods are of great interest, since they allow a target-oriented deposition of the functional polymer. Recent developments in the field of nanostructured MIPs and nanocomposites allow not only improved highly selective target recognition but also the implementation of additional features, such as amplification of electromagnetic waves by metal nanoparticles, magnetic susceptibility or structural colours in photonic crystals. Therefore, it is not surprising that the development of MIPs increased considerable interest. The present review targets recent advances in the micro- and nanofabrication of MIPs.