Issue 3, 2017

Quantitative self-powered electrochromic biosensors


Self-powered sensors are analytical devices able to generate their own energy, either from the sample itself or from their surroundings. The conventional approaches rely heavily on silicon-based electronics, which results in increased complexity and cost, and prevents the broader use of these smart systems. Here we show that electrochromic materials can overcome the existing limitations by simplifying device construction and avoiding the need for silicon-based electronics entirely. Electrochromic displays can be built into compact self-powered electrochemical sensors that give quantitative information readable by the naked eye, simply controlling the current path inside them through a combination of specially arranged materials. The concept is validated by a glucose biosensor coupled horizontally to a Prussian blue display designed as a distance-meter proportional to (glucose) concentration. This approach represents a breakthrough for self-powered sensors, and extends the application of electrochromic materials beyond smart windows and displays, into sensing and quantification.

Graphical abstract: Quantitative self-powered electrochromic biosensors

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Edge Article
06 Oct 2016
17 Nov 2016
First published
28 Nov 2016
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY-NC license

Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 1995-2002

Quantitative self-powered electrochromic biosensors

M. A. Pellitero, A. Guimerà, M. Kitsara, R. Villa, C. Rubio, B. Lakard, M. Doche, J. Hihn and F. Javier del Campo, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 1995 DOI: 10.1039/C6SC04469G

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