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Microfabricated Reference Electrodes and their Biosensing Applications

McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1 Canada
IMS, National Research Council, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2010, 10(3), 1679-1715;
Received: 16 December 2009 / Revised: 28 January 2010 / Accepted: 5 February 2010 / Published: 2 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ISFET Sensors)
Over the past two decades, there has been an increasing trend towards miniaturization of both biological and chemical sensors and their integration with miniaturized sample pre-processing and analysis systems. These miniaturized lab-on-chip devices have several functional advantages including low cost, their ability to analyze smaller samples, faster analysis time, suitability for automation, and increased reliability and repeatability. Electrical based sensing methods that transduce biological or chemical signals into the electrical domain are a dominant part of the lab-on-chip devices. A vital part of any electrochemical sensing system is the reference electrode, which is a probe that is capable of measuring the potential on the solution side of an electrochemical interface. Research on miniaturization of this crucial component and analysis of the parameters that affect its performance, stability and lifetime, is sparse. In this paper, we present the basic electrochemistry and thermodynamics of these reference electrodes and illustrate the uses of reference electrodes in electrochemical and biological measurements. Different electrochemical systems that are used as reference electrodes will be presented, and an overview of some contemporary advances in electrode miniaturization and their performance will be provided. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrode; reference electrode; microfabrication; biosensor; electrochemical; lab-on-chip electrode; reference electrode; microfabrication; biosensor; electrochemical; lab-on-chip
MDPI and ACS Style

Shinwari, M.W.; Zhitomirsky, D.; Deen, I.A.; Selvaganapathy, P.R.; Deen, M.J.; Landheer, D. Microfabricated Reference Electrodes and their Biosensing Applications. Sensors 2010, 10, 1679-1715.

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