Nano-sized Molecularly Imprinted Polymers as Artificial Antibodies

F. Canfarotta, A. Cecchini, S. Piletsky

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    The use of antibodies (Abs) and enzymes in diagnostic assays is widely accepted and, to date, represents the gold standard in terms of sensitivity and affinity. Abs are routinely used in many diagnostic assays but they suffer from short shelf-life, high costs of manufacturing and relatively poor stability, especially at extremes of temperature and pH. The use of molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) nanoparticles can overcome these problems. Compared with Abs, the synthesis of MIPs is simpler and more cost-effective and, moreover, does not require involvement of animals. In addition, MIPs show high stability and excellent mechanical properties, and can be prepared virtually for any target. NanoMIPs, sometimes called ″plastic antibodies″, are nanostructured polymer particles capable of selectively recognising the said target. Thanks to their size, they represent a viable alternative to Abs, as demonstrated by their recent application in several diagnostic fields. Herein, we review the most common synthetic approaches in the manufacture of nanoMIPs, together with some recent examples of the use of nanoMIPs in diagnostics, in particular within sensors, assays and for imaging purposes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMechanochemistry in Materials
    PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78801-427-4
    ISBN (Print)978-1-78262-647-3
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2018

    Publication series

    NameRSC Polymer Chemistry Series
    ISSN (Print)2044-0790
    ISSN (Electronic)2044-0804

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Bioengineering
    • Biomaterials
    • Polymers and Plastics


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