Recent progress in electrochemical biosensors based on phenylboronic acid and derivatives

Jun ichi Anzai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This review provides an overview of recent progress made in the development of electrochemical biosensors based on phenylboronic acid (PBA) and its derivatives. PBAs are known to selectively bind 1,2- and 1,3-diols to form negatively charged boronate esters in neutral aqueous media and have been used to construct electrochemical glucose sensors because of this selective binding. PBA-modified metal and carbon electrodes have been widely studied as voltammetric and potentiometric glucose sensors. In some cases, ferroceneboronic acid or ferrocene-modified phenylboronic acids are used as sugar-selective redox compounds. Another option for sensors using PBA-modified electrodes is potentiometric detection, in which the changes in surface potential of the electrodes are detected as an output signal. An ion-sensitive field effect transistor (FET) has been used as a signal transducer in potentiometric sensors. Glycoproteins, such as glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), avidin, and serum albumin can also be detected by PBA-modified electrodes because they contain hydrocarbon chains on the surface. HbA1c sensors are promising alternatives to enzyme-based glucose sensors for monitoring blood glucose levels over the preceding 2–3 months. In addition, PBA-modified electrodes can be used to detect a variety of compounds including hydroxy acids and fluoride (F) ions. PBA-based F ion sensors may be useful if reagentless sensors can be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-746
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1


  • Electrochemical biosensors
  • F ion sensor
  • Glucose sensor
  • Glycoprotein sensor
  • Phenylboronic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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