Status of biomolecular recognition using electrochemical techniques

Omowunmi A. Sadik, Austin O. Aluoch, Ailing Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

275 Scopus citations


The use of nanoscale materials (e.g., nanoparticles, nanowires, and nanorods) for electrochemical biosensing has seen explosive growth in recent years following the discovery of carbon nanotubes by Sumio Ijima in 1991. Although the resulting label-free sensors could potentially simplify the molecular recognition process, there are several important hurdles to be overcome. These include issues of validating the biosensor on statistically large population of real samples rather than the commonly reported relatively short synthetic oligonucleotides, pristine laboratory standards or bioreagents; multiplexing the sensors to accommodate high-throughput, multianalyte detection as well as application in complex clinical and environmental samples. This article reviews the status of biomolecular recognition using electrochemical detection by analyzing the trends, limitations, challenges and commercial devices in the field of electrochemical biosensors. It provides a survey of recent advances in electrochemical biosensors including integrated microelectrode arrays with microfluidic technologies, commercial multiplex electrochemical biosensors, aptamer-based sensors, and metal-enhanced electrochemical detection (MED), with limits of detection in the attomole range. Novel applications are also reviewed for cancer monitoring, detection of food pathogens, as well as recent advances in electrochemical glucose biosensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2749-2765
Number of pages17
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 15 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


  • Bioaffinity recognition
  • Electrochemical biosensors
  • Nanoparticles
  • Review


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