DNA functionalised semiconductor metallic oxide electrodes have been developed for the direct electrochemical detection of DNA hybridization, without labelling or the introduction of a redox couple. Conductive CdIn2O4 thin films with controlled properties were deposited on glass substrates using an aerosol pyrolysis technique. The films exhibit a polycrystalline microstructure with a surface roughness of 1.5 nm (r.m.s.) and an electrical resistivity ranging between 1 and 3 x 10(-3) Omega cm. These electrodes were functionalised using hydroxylation and silanisation steps, to allow the binding of DNA probe sequences (20 bases). The electrical detection of DNA hybridization with complementary sequences has been performed using electrochemical impedance spectrometry (EIS) measuring the variation of impedance before and after hybridization. Two set-ups were used, a standard set-up including three electrodes and a set-up including two symmetrical electrodes. In both configurations, a significant increase of the impedance modulus, more particularly of the real part of the impedance (160-225% according to the electrochemical cell used) has been obtained over a frequency range of 10-10(5) Hz. DNA hybridization has also been systematically confirmed using the fluorescence spectrometry. This study emphasizes the high sensitivity of the CdIn2O4 as a working electrode for the detection of biological events occurring at the electrode surface. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.