Reactive and Functional Polymers. 2018, V. 133, p. 103-125
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This review is focused on the analysis of recent developments in the application of polymers in the detection and quantification of target species. The work begins with a description of the polymers that are employed as sensory materials, covering molecularly imprinted polymers or MIPs, hybrid polymers, acrylic polymers, conductive polymers, polymers with chiral motifs and also the use of polymeric arrays. After the description of the sensory polymers, the different target species which can be detected using sensory polymeric devices, including metallic cations and anionic species, gases, explosives, radionuclides and bacteria or the recent biomedical and biological applications is described. Finally, the sensory devices fabricated using smart polymers, including, for example, sensory devices based on Quartz Crystal Microbalances or the use of micro and nanoporous materials as substrates for sensory polymeric coatings is listed and reviewed. The work also details the different detection mechanisms based on the type of response of the sensory polymers, such as electrical, piezoelectric or fluorescence. In brief, the review details a review of the research work published in the last 10 years in this quickly evolving field, with special emphasis in the biomedical and biological applications, which have emerged recently raising great attention. To conclude, some perspectives and future challenges that must be overcome by this research field in the next years is exposed.