Bioanalytical Chemistry

Grade in Chemistry, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 19/20

Bioanalytical Chemistry arises as a result of the convergence of Analytical Chemistry and Biochemistry and addresses the design and application of novel specific and sensitive analytical techniques. The term Bioanalytical Chemistry involves not only the resolution of biological samples or bioanalytes, but also to the use of the biological reaction and the biomolecular reagent to obtain analytical information. This approach is influencing decisively in the development of new bioanalytical methodologies, with several advantages over traditional analytical methods. A main issue of classical Analytical Chemistry, the selectivity, can be solved by the integration of biological reagents, providing specificity. Furthermore, the biorecognition may simplify the analytical procedure by avoiding complex treatments of the sample. On the other hand, the integration of  biological origin allows to improve the limits of detection.
Currently, the methods used in Bioanalytical Chemistry include, beside the classic analytical instrumental methods, such as chromatography and mass spectrometry, other methods derived from molecular biology, including PCR (polymerase chain reaction), enzymatic or immunological methods.

General instructions e-learning

General information


Problems and Exercises from 21/02 to 27/03 in C3/015, and from 27/03 in C3/019.
Lectures: from 11/02 to 27/03 in C3/015, and from 27/03 in C3/012

Check updated schedule

General guidelines

You can download the guidelines from this link


The competences of this subject will be evaluated by means of:

a) Middle term test (individual assessment), including the 1st part of the subject. 35% of the final mark. 20/04/2020 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

b) Final term test (individual assessment), including the 2nd part of the subject. 35% of the final mark. 16/06/2020 from 9 to 12 p.m. 

c) If a student fails in any of the two tests (mark below 5.0), there will be a final exam including  the whole subject (individual assessment). 70% in the final mark. 30/06/2020 from 16 to 19 p.m.

d) Cooperative and collaborative activities. 30% of the final marks.

For more details about the assessment, download the General Guidelines

First deliverable The last bag of chocolate chips (20/03/2020)

Designing a PCR test for Coronavirus outbreak (SARS-CoV-2) 13/04/2020

Problems and exercises

A password is  required to download the files


Lesson 1

Introduction to Bioanalytical Chemistry. Safety and risks in the biochemistry laboratory. The bioanalytical methodology. Obtaining samples. Qualitative (screening) assays vs. quantitative Assays.  Data fitting and statistical treatment. Validation of bioanalytical methods. Sensitivity and specificity. Matrix effect. Interferences.

Lesson 2

Structure of biomolecules and Biorecognition. Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins. Antibodies. Enzymes. Nucleic Acids. Biorecognition: Enzyme/Substrate. Antigen/antibody. Hybridization. Other affinity interactions in nature. Strept(avidin), Protein A and G. Aptamers.  Biomimetic recognition. The importance of water in biorecognition. Biological buffers.

Lesson 3

Purification of antibodies Part 1 and Part 2.     The special case of magnetic bioseparation

Lesson 4

Instrumental techniques for the detection of biomolecules.Spectrophotometry and Fluorimetry. UV-VIS, turbidimetry, X-rays. Mass spectrometry for biomolecules. Genomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Lesson 5

Enzymatic analysis. Enzymes in bioanalytical chemistry. Enzymatic kinetics. Examples of reactions catalyzed by enzymes. Enzymatic inhibitors. Quantification of enzymes and their substrates. Clinical Examples. Creatinin.     Glucose.    Uric Acid. Urea.Colesterol.   Aspartate aminotransferase (GOT  or  AST).     Alanine aminotransferase (ALT or GPT).     γ -glutamyl transferase (γ-GT).

Lesson 6

Immunoassay.Classification. Applications. Heterogeneous and homogeneous immunoassay. Labelling: radioisotopes, fluorescence, chemiluminescence. Enzyme labelling: ELISA. Data fittings. Statistical treatment.  Validation. Sensitivity and specificity. Matrix effect.

Lesson 7

DNA analysis. Hybridization. DNA amplification. PCR and Q-PCR. Detection strategies.  Isothermic techniques for amplification of DNA. Gene expression chips.

Lesson 8

Rapid and screening methods.    Immunocromatography and reactive strips. Agglutination techniques.     Chemical sensors and biosensors.    Laboratories on a chip.  Applications.

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Immobilization of biomolecules. Strategies in solid phase in bioanalytical  chemistry. Types, characteristics and nature of solid supports. Strategies for the immobilization of biomolecules in solid supports. Evaluation of nonspecific adsorption.

Lesson 11

Labelling of biomolecules. Labelling and modifications with functional groups. Conjugation of biomolecules to different tags: enzymes, fluorophores, nanoparticles and QDs, biotin. Signal amplification techniques.


Selected videos and multimedia (password required)


– Bioanalytical Chemistry. Susan R. Mikkelsen & Eduardo Cortón. Wiley-interscience. 2004.
– Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 6 ª ed. Edited by Keith Wilson & John Walker. Cambridge University Press. 2006.
– ‘Bioquimica. Técnicas y Métodos’. Pilar Roca, Jordi Oliver y Ana Mª Rodríguez. Editorial Hélice. 2003.
– Principles and Practice of Bioanalysis. Edited by Richard F. Venn. Taylor & Francis, 2000

The basics


– David L. Nelson, Michel M. Cox. ‘Lehninger Principios de Bioquímica’. 4ª ed. Ediciones Omega. 2006.
– L. Stryer, Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymocxko. Bioquímica. 5 ª ed. Editorial Reverté. 2003.
– Mary K. Campbell, Shawn O. Farrell. Bioquímica. 4 ª ed. Editorial Thomsom. 2004.

Analytical Chemistry

– Skoog, Holler i Niemen. «Principios de Análisis Instrumental» 5ª edició. Ed. Mc. Graw Hill. 2001.
– Skoog, West, Holler i Crouch “Fundamentos de Química Analítica” 8ª edició. Ed. Thomsom, 2005.
– Daniel C. Harris «Análisis químico cuantitativo». 2ª ed (5ª en Ingles), Editorial Reverte 2001.

Bioanalysis. Other suggested bibliography

– Bryan L. Williams, Keith Wilson. Principios y Técnicas de Bioquímica experimental. Ediciones Omega, 1981.
– J.M. García Segura, J.G. Gavilanes, A. Martínez del Pozo, F. Montero, M. Oñaderra, F. Vivanco. Técnicas instrumentales de análisis en Bioquímica. Editorial Síntesis, 2002.
– D.J. Holme, H. Peck. Analytical Biochemistry. 3rd edition. Prentice Hall, 1998.
– Reiner Wetermeier and Tom Naven. Proteomics in Practice: A Laboratory Manual of Proteome Analysis, Wiley-VCH Verlag-GmbH,. Weinheim, 2002.
– Rodney F. Boyer, Modern Experimental Biochemistry (Third Edition) Benjamin/Cummings, San Francisco, 2000.
– Handbook of Experimental Immunology. Vol. 1. Weir DM, ed. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1986.
– Rodney F. Boyer, Biochemistry Laboratory. Modern Theory and Techniques. Publisher: Benjamin Cummings. 2006.
– Jeremy W Dale and Malcom von Schantz. From Genes to Genomes: Concepts and Applications of DNA Technology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 2002
– Sample Preparation Techniques in Analytical Chemistry. Somenath Mitra, ed. Wiley-Interscience: Hoboken, NJ, 2003.

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