Streptavidin-coated gold nanoparticles (strept-AuNPs) were used in this work to amplify the impedimetric signal generated in a biosensor detecting the DNA hybridization event. Probe oligomer was adsorbed onto a graphite epoxy composite (GEC) electrode surface and the impedance measurement was performed in a solution containing the redox marker ferrocyanide/ferricyanide. The biotinylated complementary oligomer was used as target. The change of interfacial charge transfer resistance (Rct), experimented by the redox marker, was recorded to confirm the hybrid formation. The addition of strept-AuNPs, binding to the target due to the strong streptavidin-biotin interaction, led to a further increment of Rct thus obtaining significant signal amplification. Strept-AuNPs on the electrode surface were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) after silver enhancement treatment. A competitive binding assay was also performed using unlabelled DNA target to demonstrate its applicability to real sample analysis. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.