Aarhus University Seal

Elena Ferapontova's group:
Electrochemical Biosensors and Bioelectrocatalysis­


-       Advanced electrochemical technologies for biomedical diagnostic devices and environmental monitoring;

-       Electron transport in biopolymers and its application in biosensor and bioelectronics;

-       Sustainable energy and chemicals production.


European Commission

Breaking Bad Biofilms. Innovative Analysis and Design Rules for Next-Generation Antifouling Interfaces

Biofilms, i.e. communities of micro-organisms that attach and grow on a solid surface, cause about 80% of infections in humans and disinfectants rarely succeed in destroying them. They cost European economy billions of euro annually. The BREAK BIOFILMS Training Network aims to solve this issue by training the next generation leaders. They will understand the (bio)physicochemical mechanisms of biofilm formation, be able to produce technology for detecting and identifying biofilm formation with extreme sensitivity, and develop next generation biocides for preventing and destroying biofilms in industrial and biomedical areas. The network brings together world leaders in sensors, cell imaging, microbiology, interfacial engineering and nanoformulation from 6 universities, 9 companies, a research Centre, and a Business and Innovation Centre. This project produces technologies that will enhance the productivity of European industry, create intellectual property with a strong probability of commercialization and improve the health and well-being of European citizens by minimizing infection rates and the inappropriate use of ineffective biocides that is leading to resistance. 


Novo Nordisk Foundation

Validating Serum Tests for Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor-2 for Precise Diagnosis and Stratification of Breast and Gastro-Oesophagal Cancers

This project provides medical doctors with fast and accurate liquid biopsy tests for analysis of protein HER-2/neu in blood of cancer patients and cancer risk groups. HER-2/neu levels are elevated in aggressive breast and in gastro-oesophagal cancers that have poor clinical prognosis and require targeted therapies and continuous monitoring of HER-2/neu in response to the anticancer treatment. Clinical HER-2/neu analysis rely on solid tumor biopsies and is poorly suited for continuous monitoring. A liquid biopsy (diagnostics in serum samples) will then allow a non-invasive analysis of cancer state at lower cost and for faster times. HER-2/neu serum diagnostics based on a low-cost ultrasensitive bioelectronic technology will be clinically validated by correlating patients’ serum and tumor HER-2/neu profiles and related to the results of solid tumor analysis and patients’ scanning at the nuclear medicine department. Test strips will be developed for immediate use at point-of-care sites.


Innovation Fund Denmark

Universal Biosensor Platform for Rapid Diagnostic Tests

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for rapid and easy-to-use diagnostic tests. Pathogens, cancer biomarkers, and small drug molecules are diagnostic relevant targets requiring rapid tests. Few commercial-relevant proof-of-principle devices exists due to immense challenges within stability and diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. Most promising are electrochemical-based biosensors exploiting aptamers as biorecognition molecules and fast electrochemical methods to achieve the needed requirements. This project develops a rapid and low-cost biosensor platform with new chemical surface modification to increase the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. Solsten’s proprietary biosensor design (patent under preparation) enables rapid development and implementation for new diagnostic targets, while the academic partner provides the expertise in electrode interfacial design and biosensor development. The outcome of this research project will provide a foundation for a science-based biosensor technology for rapid testing of diagnostic targets in the healthcare system.


Bachelor and Master Science Projects:

1). Development of liquid biopsy tests and point-of-care testing devices for cancer diagnosis

2). Development of strip tests for viral detection with plant viruses as a model

For more projects see here.

Research Highlights


Malecka, K.; Mikuła, E.; Ferapontova, E.E. Design Strategies for Electrochemical Aptasensors for Cancer Diagnostic Devices. Sensors 2021, 21, 736 (p. 1-41). https://doi.org/10.3390/s21030736

Binte Jamal, R.; Shipovskov, S.; Ferapontova, E.E., Electrochemical Immuno- and Aptamer-Based Assays for Bacteria: Pros and Cons over Traditional Detection Schemes, Sensors 20(19) 2020 5561 (p.1-27). https://doi.org/10.3390/s20195561

Ferapontova, E.E., Electrochemical assays for microbial analysis: How far they are from solving microbiota and microbiome challenges, Curr. Opin. Electrochem. 19 2020 153-161, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coelec.2019.12.005

Research quotes

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."   Benjamin Franklin


"The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything."  Theodore Roosevelt


"Differences underlie innovations. If you cannot be different, you cannot innovate."    Prof. Adam Heller, the University of Texas at Austin, co-founder of TheraSense, now Abbott Diabetes Care

Past Projects

NUMEN: Nanotechnologies for Ultrasensitive monitoring of Microbes in the human ENvironment



CEM: Center for ElectroMicrobology



eADAM: Ultra-small electrochemical Aptasensors for specific DopAmine real-time Monitoring, EU MCSA H2O2