Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 402, Issue 10, pp 3245–3252

Optical sensors with molecularly imprinted nanospheres: a promising approach for robust and label-free detection of small molecules

  • Felix Kolarov
  • Klaus Niedergall
  • Monika Bach
  • Günter E. M. Tovar
  • Günter Gauglitz
Original Paper


Molecularly imprinted nanospheres obtained by miniemulsion polymerization have been applied as the sensitive layer for label-free direct optical sensing of small molecules. Using these particles as the sensitive layer allowed for improving response times in comparison to sensors using MIP layers. As a model compound, well-characterized nanospheres imprinted against l-Boc-phenylalanine anilide (l-BFA) were chosen. For immobilization, a simple concept based on electrostatic adsorption was used, showing its applicability to different types of surfaces, leading to a good surface coverage. The sensor showed short response times, good selectivity, and high reversibility with a limit of detection down to 60 μM and a limit of quantitation of 94 μM. Furthermore, reproducibility, selectivity, and long-term stability of the sensitive layers were tested. The best results were achieved with an adsorption on aminopropylsilane layers, showing a chip-to-chip reproducibility of 22%. Furthermore, the sensors showed no loss in signal after a storage time of 1 year.


Molecularly imprinted polymer RIfS Label free Optical sensors Miniemulsion polymerization l-BFA 

Supplementary material

216_2011_5592_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (32 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 31.6 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Kolarov
    • 1
  • Klaus Niedergall
    • 2
  • Monika Bach
    • 2
  • Günter E. M. Tovar
    • 2
  • Günter Gauglitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Physical and Theoretical ChemistryTübingen UniversityTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Interfacial Engineering IGVTUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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