Impedimetric Biosensors and Immunosensors
The development of methods targeting the direct monitoring of antibody-antigen interactions is particularly attractive. The design of label-free affinity-based probing concepts is the objective of much current research, at both academic and industrial levels, towards establishing alternative methods to the already existing ELISA-based immunoassays. Among these, Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) represents one of the most powerful methods, due to the ability of EIS-based sensors to be more easily integrated into multi-array or microprocessor- controlled diagnostic tools. During the last decade, EIS and the concept of biochemical capacitors have been widely used for probing various types of biomolecular interactions (immunosensors, DNA hybridization, protein-protein interactions). So far, impedimetric or capacitive immunosensors have been successfully applied at the academic level. However, no prototypes have been released into the market, since major fundamental issues still exist. Even though this fact has brought the reliability of impedimetric immunosensors into question, features associated with electrochemical approaches, namely the ability to be miniaturized, remote control of implanted sensors, low cost of electrode mass production, and cost effective instrumentation (without need of high-energy sources) keep impedimetric sensors particularly attractive as compared to other approaches based on microbalances, surface plasmon resonance or ellipsometry. This lecture outlines the theoretical background of impedimetric immunosensors and presents different types of impedimetric biosensors as well as the instrumental approaches that have been so far proposed in the literature.
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