This overview covers important aspects of microfluidic chip platforms as new materials for electrochemical (EC) sensing. It describes important trends in constructing detectors and their electronics on microfluidic chip platforms, the importance of selecting appropriate detector materials, and the different detection modes in on-chip amperometry, conductometry and potentiometry. We pay particular attention to the latest developments and to the fundamental issues of on-chip EC detection. We also discuss important applications of microfluidic chip platforms in genomic, security and environmental applications. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.