DNA/RNA electrochemical biosensing devices a future replacement of PCR methods for a fast epidemic containment

Manikandan Santhanam, Itay Algov, Lital Alfonta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Pandemics require a fast and immediate response to contain potential infectious carriers. In the recent 2020 Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, authorities all around the world have failed to identify potential carriers and contain it on time. Hence, a rapid and very sensitive testing method is required. Current diagnostic tools, reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and real-time PCR (qPCR), have its pitfalls for quick pandemic containment such as the requirement for specialized professionals and instrumentation. Versatile electrochemical DNA/RNA sensors are a promising technological alternative for PCR based diagnosis. In an electrochemical DNA sensor, a nucleic acid hybridization event is converted into a quantifiable electrochemical signal. A critical challenge of electrochemical DNA sensors is sensitive detection of a low copy number of DNA/RNA in samples such as is the case for early onset of a disease. Signal amplification approaches are an important tool to overcome this sensitivity issue. In this review, the authors discuss the most recent signal amplification strategies employed in the electrochemical DNA/RNA diagnosis of pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4648
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2 Aug 2020


  • DNA
  • Electrochemical DNA sensor
  • Nucleic acid sensor
  • Pathogen sensing
  • RNA
  • Signal amplification

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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