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Molecularly imprinted polymers have been applied to the development of piezoelectric and electrochemical sensors and in radioactive competitive assays. However, its application to optical sensors is still limited due to the lack of appropriate fluorescent molecules able to compete with the template by the specific binding sites in the polymer. Optimisation of the polymer composition to get the maximum specific binding in the least time is another aim of research in this area. In this paper we present several approaches to address these issues namely the application of a experimental design for MIP optimization and the design and synthesis of novel fluorophores for the analysis of beta-lactam antibiotics using competitive assays or labeled MIPs.