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    Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) have numerous applications in the sensing field, the detection/recognition of virus, the structure determination of proteins, drug delivery, artificial/biomimetic antibodies, drug discovery, and cell culturing. There are lots of conventional methods routinely deployed for the analysis/detection of viral infections and pathogenic viruses, namely enzyme immunoassays, immunofluorescence microscopy, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and virus isolation. However, they typically suffer from higher costs, low selectivity/specificity, false negative/positive results, time consuming procedures, and inherent labor intensiveness. MIPs offer promising potential for viral recognition/detection with high target selectivity, sensitivity, robustness, reusability, and reproducible fabrication. In terms of virus detection, selectivity and sensitivity are critical parameters determined by the template; additionally, the analytical detection and evaluation of viruses must have considerably low detection limits. The virus-imprinted polymer-based innovative strategies with enough specificity, convenience, validity, and reusability features for the detection/recognition of a wide variety of viruses, can provide attractive capabilities for reliable screening with minimal false negative/positive results that is so crucial for the prevention and control of epidemic and pandemic viral infections. However, in the process of imprinting viruses, critical factors such as size of the target, solubility, fragility, and compositional complexity should be analytically considered and systematically evaluated. In this review, recent advancements regarding the applications of MIPs and pertinent virus imprinting techniques for the detection of viruses, as well as their current significant challenges and future perspectives, are deliberated.


    Ghazaleh Jamalipour Soufi, Siavash Iravani, Rajender S Varma. Molecularly imprinted polymers for the detection of viruses: challenges and opportunities. The Analyst. 2021 May 21;146(10):3087-3100

    PMID: 33999044

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