Corresponding Author

Zhu-gen YANG(zhugen.yang@cranfield.ac.uk)


Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been shown to be an innovative approach for evaluation of drug use trends and public health assessment by quantifying drug residues and/or metabolites (so-called biomarkers) in wastewater collected in a local treatment plant. Community sewage sensors have been proposed and demonstrated to be powerful tools for the analysis of sewage biomarkers. In particular, electrochemical biosensors have emerged as a rapid method for the analysis of biomarkers and pathogens in wastewater due to low cost, minimal sample processing and the ability to test in the field. It has been widely used for biomedical diagnosis, environmental monitoring and food safety, but still at early stage for wastewater analysis. Compared to traditional analytical methods such as liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry (LC-MS), biosensors have advantages of fast responding time and enable analysis at the point-of-need for wastewater. This paper reviews the most recent progress on the analysis of biomarkers in wastewater using electrochemical biosensors. The electrochemical biosensors for the detection of important inorganic chemicals (heavy metals), organic chemicals such as illicit drug and pesticides, biomolecules and microorganisms in wastewater are discussed. This will give an insight to the wastewater-based epidemiology and its application for community-wide drug abuse and public health assessment.

Graphical Abstract


wastewater-based epidemiology, electrochemical analysis, biosensor, illicit drug of abuse, public health

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