Over-the-counter biosensors: Past, present, and future

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


The demand for specific, low cost, rapid, sensitive and easy detection of biomolecules is huge. A well-known example is the glucose meters used by diabetics to monitor their blood glucose levels. Nowadays, a vast majority of the glucose meters are based on electrochemical biosensor technology. The inherent small size and simple construction of the electrochemical transducer and instrument are ideally suited for pointof-care biosensing. Besides glucose, a wide variety of electrochemical biosensors have been developed for the measurements of some other key metabolites, proteins, and nucleic acids. Nevertheless, unlike the glucose meters, limited success has been achieved for the commercialization of the protein and nucleic acid biosensors. In this review article, key technologies on the electrochemical detection of key metabolites, proteins, and DNAs are discussed in detail, with particular emphasis on those that are compatible to home-use setting. Moreover, emerging technologies of lab-on-a-chip microdevices and nanosensors (i.e., silicon and carbon nanotube field-effect sensors) offer opportunities for the construction of new generation biosensors with much better performances. Together with the continuous innovations in the basic components of biosensors (i.e., transducers, biorecognition molecules, immobilization and signal transduction schemes), consumers could soon buy different kinds of biosensing devices in the pharmacy stores.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5535-5559
Number of pages25
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2008


  • DNA sensors
  • Glucose sensors
  • Home-use biosensors
  • Metabolite sensors
  • Protein sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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