Advances in biomimetic systems for molecular recognition and biosensing
Understanding the fundamentals of natural design, structure, and function has pushed the limits of current knowledge and has enabled us to transfer knowledge from the bench to the market as a product. In particular, biomimicry—one of the crucial strategies in this respect—has allowed researchers to tackle major challenges in the disciplines of engineering, biology, physics, materials science, and medicine. It has an enormous impact on these fields with pivotal applications, which are not limited to the applications of biocompatible tooth implants, programmable drug delivery systems, biocompatible tissue scaffolds, organ-on-a-chip systems, wearable platforms, molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs), and smart biosensors. Among them, MIPs provide a versatile strategy to imitate the procedure of molecular recognition precisely, creating structural fingerprint replicas of molecules for biorecognition studies. Owing to their affordability, easy-to-fabricate/use features, stability, specificity, and multiplexing capabilities, host-guest recognition systems have largely benefitted from the MIP strategy. This review article is structured with four major points: (i) determining the requirement of biomimetic systems and denoting multiple examples in this manner; (ii) introducing the molecular imprinting method and reviewing recent literature to elaborate the power and impact of MIPs on a variety of scientific and industrial fields; (iii) exemplifying the MIP-integrated systems, i.e., chromatographic systems, lab-on-a-chip systems, and sensor systems; and (iv) closing remarks.