This paper presents a new electronic methodology to detect DNA hybridization for rapid identification of diseases, as well as food and environmental monitoring on a genetic base. The proposed solution exploits a new (electrical) capacitive measurement circuit, not requiring any prior labeling of the DNA (as it is often the case with the commonly employed optical detection). The sensitivity, the reliability, and the reproducibility of this device have been evaluated by experiments performed with a (non-integrated) prototype implementation, easily integrable in IC and/or micro-fabricated lab-on-a-chip. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.