The problems associated with attempting to apply voltammetric techniques to the analysis of biologically relevant organics within complex media are identified and, through reviewing the very recent literature (1999-mid-2001), possible solutions are described. The boundaries of the search were limited to research targeted at the resolution of specific problems, associated with quantitative determinations. Various strategies have emerged to counter problems of poor sensitivity and selectivity and these have been summarized and critically appraised. Where possible, the characteristics of each approach have been distilled into a table format to ease comparison. Emphasis has been placed on the collation of information that will improve the intrinsic electrode response and as such should be of value to those interested in pursing electroanalytical methodologies regardless of context. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).