University of Florida

ABE 4033 - ABE5038
Fundamentals and Applications of Biosensors

Semester Taught -Spring

Catalog Description

Credits: 3

The course is intended to provide a broad introduction to the field of biosensors, design and performance analysis.  Fundamental application of biosensor theory will be demonstrated, including recognition, transduction, signal acquisition, and post processing/data analysis. 


At least senior status is required for enrollment, and a passing grade in organic chemistry (CHE 2210/2211, EES4200, or equivalent) and differential equations (MAP 2302 or equivalent) is required. It is recommended that the students have a basic background in biology. The topics of the interdisciplinary course take into consideration that students will be coming to the class from varied backgrounds. Proper background materials will be provided when needed. It is, however, the student's responsibility to see the instructor if he/she does not have sufficient background in a particular topic. In this case additional background materials and discussion can be provided or directed as needed.

Course Objectives

Students should leave the course with a foundational understanding of current state of the art in biosensors as well as a basic skill set for continuation into advanced biosensor design.  Topics are selected to emphasize agricultural, bioenvironmental, food safety, and biosecurity applications.  Undergraduate students will be responsible for analyzing a current manuscript and giving an oral presentation to the class.  Graduate students will be responsible for conducting a detailed review of current literature and provide a written report and oral presentation. 

Contributions of Course to Meeting the Professional Component for ABET

Students will gain in depth knowledge of applied chemistry (inorganic and organic) and a fundamental knowledge of applied calculus-based physics and applied statistics.

Relationship of Course to Program Outcomes

This course addresses ABET Program outcomes (a), (d), (g), (h), and (k).

ABET Program Outcomes

  • (a) Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • (b) Design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data
  • (c) Design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  • (d) Function on multi-disciplinary teams
  • (e) Identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • (f) Understand professional and ethical responsibilities
  • (g) Communicate effectively
  • (h) Understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context
  • (i) Recognize the need for, and engage in life long learning
  • (j) Understand contemporary engineering issues
  • (k) Use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice


Dr. Eric McLamore
Phone: 392-1864 x105

Material/Supply Fees


Class Materials Required

Due to the multi disciplinary nature of the course material, text and supporting information will be provided by the Instructor and will be taken from numerous textbooks and current journal articles (journal articles will be selected by instructor).  Information from textbooks will be provided by the instructor in the form of electronic files, and selected material will be taken from the following:


Title: Electrochemical Methods: Fundamentals and Applications
Author(s): Allen J. Bard; Larry R. Faulkner
Publication date: 2000
Edition: 2nd edition
ISBN: 13:978-0-471-04372-0
Publisher(s): Wiley

Title: Analytical Electrochemistry
Author(s): J. Wang
Publication date: 2006
Edition: 3rd edition
ISBN: 13:978-0-471-67879-3
Publisher(s): Wiley

Recommended Reading:

Other supporting material highly suggested includes:

Title: Rapid Review: Biochemistry
Author(s): J.W. Pelley and E.F. Goljan
Publication date: 2011
Edition: 3rd edition
ISBN: 978-0-323-06887-1
Publisher(s): Elsevier

Course Outline

  • The Biomolecular Realm and Introduction to Biosensing                                                               
  • Biosensor Design and Performance Evaluation                                               
  • Sensors, Detectors and Assays                                                                 
  • Biological Recognition and Transduction                                                                               
  • Fundamentals of Electroanalytical Chemistry                                                
  • Fundamentals of Optics                                                                                                                               
  • Materials                                                                                                                                                            
  • Nanomaterials                                                                                                                                               
  •  Material Biocompatibility
  • Protein based biosensors/bioassays
  • Whole cell biosensors/bioassays
  • Whole organism biosensors/bioassays
  • Biosensors for Food and Biosecurity
  • Biosensors in the Environment                                                                   
  • Advanced Biosensor Techniques

Attendance and Expectations

Attendance is vital to class participation and in-class discussion. Absences for which a medical or court excuse is provided (professional letterhead required) will be excused. Any significant tardy or early departure from class will be figured as a half absence.


A C- will not be a qualifying grade for critical tracking courses.  In order to graduate, students must have an overall GPA and an upper-division GPA of 2.0 or better (C or better).  Note: a C- average is equivalent to a GPA of 1.67, and therefore, it does not satisfy this graduation requirement.  For more information on grades and grading policies, please visit:

Grading Scale
A >90%
B 80-89%
C 70-79%
D 60-69%
E below 60%
Grading Method Pct
Attendance 10%
Homework 15%
In Class Presentation 25%
Exam #1 15%
Exam #2 15%
Final Exam 20%


Make up exams must be scheduled with the instructor at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled exam time. Consideration of make-up exams after this deadline will be by discretion of the instructor only..

Academic Honesty

Academic Honesty

As a student at the University of Florida, you have committed yourself to uphold the Honor Code, which includes the following pledge: “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.”  You are expected to exhibit behavior consistent with this commitment to the UF academic community, and on all work submitted for credit at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment." 
It is assumed that you will complete all work independently in each course unless the instructor provides explicit permission for you to collaborate on course tasks (e.g. assignments, papers, quizzes, exams). Furthermore, as part of your obligation to uphold the Honor Code, you should report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. It is your individual responsibility to know and comply with all university policies and procedures regarding academic integrity and the Student Honor Code.  Violations of the Honor Code at the University of Florida will not be tolerated. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for consideration of disciplinary action. For more information regarding the Student Honor Code, please see:  

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.

0001 Reid Hall, 352-392-8565,  

Software Use

All faculty, staff and student of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to uphold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

Campus Helping Resources

Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources. The Counseling & Wellness Center provides confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career or academic goals, which interfere with their academic performance.

  • University Counseling & Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road, 352-392-1575,

    Counseling Services
    Groups and Workshops
    Outreach and Consultation
    Self-Help Library
    Training Programs
    Community Provider Database

  • Career Resource Center, First Floor JWRU, 392-1601,