Transferring the Selectivity of a Natural Antibody into a Molecularly Imprinted Polymer
Natural antibodies are widely used for their unprecedented reproducibility and the remarkable selectivity for a wide range of analytes. However, biodegradability and the need to work in biocompatible environments limit their applications. Molecularly imprinted polymers are a robust alternative. While molecularly imprinted polymers have shown remarkable selectivities for small molecules, large structures as proteins, viruses or entire cells are still problematic and flexible structures are virtually impossible to imprint. We have developed a method to form a polymeric copy of the antibodies instead. This book chapter aims to summarize the progress with this technique. To make it easier for other scientists to use this methods I critically discuss advantages and drawbacks of the method compared to alternative techniques. The discussion should help to identify for which applications this technique would be valuable. Finally, I provide a practical guide to use this new method. I highlight potential problems and give hints for possible improvements or adaptations for different applications.
Key wordsImprinting Molecularly imprinted polymers Synthetic antibodies Artificial binding sites
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