This paper reviews approaches to chemical sensing with receptor-modified electrodes that mimic the function of natural membranes containing biological and synthetic receptor channels. We highlight different types of ion-channel sensors, focusing on the working principle and the fundamental aspects, such as sensitivity and selectivity. It is demonstrated that biological receptors such as glutamate receptor ion channels and gramicidin, embedded in bilayer lipid membranes, have the potential as sensing elements for ion channel sensors with excellent sensitivity and selectivity. In addition, higher selectivities by improved receptor desigh, taking into account the particular advantages of interfacial analyte recognition at LB membranes and SAMs, are also shown with ion-channel sensors for antibodies, protamine, heparin, abasic DNA sites, and oligonucleotides.
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