The specificity of the reaction of benzoquinone with reduced thiol species has been investigated and the nature of the amperometric electrode response elucidated. The analytical applicability of the methodology has been assessed and it has been shown that through appropriate selection of the redox properties of the indicating quinone, interference from other electroactive species can be minimised. A discrepancy in the reaction stoichiometry has however been found between the glutathione and cysteine quinone adducts and the implications in interpreting the resulting sensor response are rationalised. The adaptation of the approach to disposable, screen printed electrode assemblies has been investigated. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.