Biomimetic binders and catalysts have been generated in order to substitute the biological pendants in separation techniques and bioanalysis. The two major approaches use either “evolution in the test tube” of nucleotides for the preparation of aptamers or total chemical synthesis for molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). The reproducible production of aptamers is a clear advantage, whilst the preparation of MIPs typically leads to a population of polymers with different binding sites. The realization of binding sites in the total bulk of the MIPs results in a higher binding capacity, however, on the expense of the accessibility and exchange rate. Furthermore, the readout of the bound analyte is easier for aptamers since the integration of signal generating labels is well established. On the other hand, the overall negative charge of the nucleotides makes aptamers prone to non-specific adsorption of positively charged constituents of the sample and the “biological” degradation of non-modified aptamers and ionic strength-dependent changes of conformation may be challenging in some application
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