Beyond Sensitive and Selective Electrochemical Biosensors: Towards Continuous, Real-Time, Antibiofouling and Calibration-Free Devices

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Nowadays, electrochemical biosensors are reliable analytical tools to determine a broad range of molecular analytes because of their simplicity, affordable cost, and compatibility with multiplexed and point-of-care strategies. There is an increasing demand to improve their sensitivity and selectivity, but also to provide electrochemical biosensors with important attributes such as near real-time and continuous monitoring in complex or denaturing media, or in vivo with minimal intervention to make them even more attractive and suitable for getting into the real world. Modification of biosensors surfaces with antibiofouling reagents, smart coupling with nanomaterials, and the advances experienced by folded-based biosensors have endowed bioelectroanalytical platforms with one or more of such attributes. With this background in mind, this review aims to give an updated and general overview of these technologies as well as to discuss the remarkable achievements arising from the development of electrochemical biosensors free of reagents, washing, or calibration steps, and/or with antifouling properties and the ability to perform continuous, real-time, and even in vivo operation in nearly autonomous way. The challenges to be faced and the next features that these devices may offer to continue impacting in fields closely related with essential aspects of people’s safety and health are also commented upon.