The increasing availability of semiconductor-based nanostructures with novel and unique properties has sparked widespread interest in their use in the field of biosensing. The precise control over the size, shape and composition of these nanostructures leads to the accurate control of their physico-chemical properties and overall behavior. Furthermore, modifications can be made to the nanostructures to better suit their integration with biological systems, leading to such interesting properties as enhanced aqueous solubility, biocompatibility or bio-recognition. In the present work, the most significant applications of semiconductor nanostructures in the field of optical biosensing will be reviewed. In particular, the use of quantum dots as fluorescent bioprobes, which is the most widely used application, will be discussed. In addition, the use of some other nanometric structures in the field of biosensing, including porous semiconductors and photonic crystals, will be presented.