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Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs), so-called “artificial antibodies”, are a type of selective materials that possess binding sites and exhibit high selectivity and affinity toward a target compound (template). MIPs are usually synthesized by polymerization of a functional monomer and a target compound (template) in the presence of a cross-linker. MIPs are easy to prepare, stable at harsh operating conditions, inexpensive, reusable and capable of selective recognition of target compounds. MIPs function as a novel type of solid phase extraction (SPE) materials with improved selectivity and efficiency compared to traditional SPE materials, such as silica or polymers. MIPs are also used in biosensors as recognition units. MIPs can recognize target analytes not only by their shape and size, because introducing a dedicated set of recognizing sites into the imprinted cavity increases both the affinity of the cavity for the analyte and its selectivity with respect to interferences. MIP-based enzyme-like catalysts (artificial enzymes) are another application of MIPs in biomimetic catalysis. For the preparation of MIP-based artificial enzymes, the functional monomers are incorporated in the polymeric structure by choosing the substrate of desired enzyme or the transition state analogue of the reaction as the template compound. This special issue aims to provide a comprehensive collection of original research articles on the design and preparation of novel MIPs as SPE resins, biosensor platforms and artificial enzymes.
Aims and Scope: Design and preparation of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for SPE applications SPE of biomolecules by using MIPs Design and preparation of MIPs for sensor applications MIP-based artificial enzymes MIP nanoparticles MIP nanocomposites