The response characteristics of various carbon substrates towards the direct oxidative measurement of urate and other key purine biomarkers have been compared. A novel carbon fibre laminate assembly has been proposed as an alternative substrate for the preparation of disposable sensing strips. The fabrication method is generic and readily transferable to a number of sensor applications. Its performance in the determination of urate within biofluids (serum and plasma) has been critically assessed. An inter-Laboratory pilot study demonstrated the bioanalytical efficacy of the approach with the responses validated through comparison with the standard colorimetric (uricase/peroxidase) assay. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.