Recent advances in cytochrome c biosensing technologies

Biosens Bioelectron. 2017 Jan 15;87:654-668. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2016.09.013. Epub 2016 Sep 4.


This review is an attempt, for the first time, to describe advancements in sensing technology for cytochrome c (cyt c) detection, at point-of-care (POC) application. Cyt c, a heme containing metalloprotein is located in the intermembrane space of mitochondria and released into bloodstream during pathological conditions. The release of cyt c from mitochondria is a key initiative step in the activation of cell death pathways. Circulating cyt c levels represents a novel in-vivo marker of mitochondrial injury after resuscitation from heart failure and chemotherapy. Thus, cyt c detection is not only serving as an apoptosis biomarker, but also is of great importance to understand certain diseases at cellular level. Various existing techniques such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), Western blot, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), spectrophotometry and flow cytometry have been used to estimate cyt c. However, the implementation of these techniques at POC application is limited due to longer analysis time, expensive instruments and expertise needed for operation. To overcome these challenges, significant efforts are being made to develop electrochemical biosensing technologies for fast, accurate, selective, and sensitive detection of cyt c. Presented review describes the cutting edge technologies available in the laboratories to detect cyt c. The recent advancements in designing and development of electrochemical cyt c biosensors for the quantification of cyt c are also discussed. This review also highlights the POC cyt c biosensors developed recently, that would prove of interest to biologist and therapist to get real time informatics needed to evaluate death process, diseases progression, therapeutics and processes related with mitochondrial injury.

Keywords: Antibodies; Apoptosis; Aptamers; Biosensors; Cancer therapy; Cytochrome c; Enzymes; Point-of-care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / chemistry
  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Cytochromes c / analysis*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / instrumentation
  • Immunoassay / methods
  • Mitochondria / chemistry
  • Models, Molecular
  • Point-of-Care Systems


  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • Cytochromes c