A Novel Capacitive Sensor Based on Molecularly Imprinted Nanoparticles as Recognition Elements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) are synthetic receptors capable of selective binding to their target (template) molecules and, hence, are used as recognition elements in assays and sensors as a replacement for relatively unstable enzymes and antibodies. Herein, we describe a manufacturing-friendly protocol for integration of MIP nanoparticles (nanoMIPs) with a (label-free) capacitive sensor. The nanoMIPs were produced by solid-phase synthesis for two templates with different sizes and properties, including a small molecule tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a protein (trypsin). NanoMIPs were deposited on the surface of the sensor and the change in capacitance (ΔC) upon binding of the target was measured. The significant improvement in the selectivity and limit of detection (one order of magnitude compared to previously used MIP microparticles) can be attributed to their increased surface-to-volume ratio and higher specificity of the nanoMIPs produced by the solid-phase method. The methodology described is also compatible with common sensor fabrication approaches, as opposed to methods involving in situ MIP polymerisation. The proposed sensor shows high selectivity, fast sensor response (45 min including injection, regeneration and re-equilibration with running buffer), and straightforward data analysis, which makes it viable for label-free monitoring in real-time. The set of targets assessed in this manuscript shows the general applicability of the biosensor platform.


External organisations
  • University of Leicester
  • CapSenze Biosystems AB
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Biotechnology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch