Electrochemical methods were used to investigate the interaction of neutral red (NR) with double-stranded calf thymus DNA, in solution as well as using a DNA-modified glassy carbon (GC-DNA) electrode. The results were compared with those obtained from bare glassy carbon (GC) electrode. The formal potential of NR was more positive when GC-DNA electrode was used although the rate of heterogeneous electron transfer is as high as that of using GC electrode. GC-DNA electrode enables preconcentration of NR for chosen times on the electrode surface, despite the fact that the mass transfer effects in the thin DNA layer adsorbed on the surface was still observed using cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques. Parameters, such as the diffusion coefficient of NR, binding site size in base pairs and the ratio of the binding constants for the oxidized and reduced forms of the bound species were obtained. A binding isotherm for NR at GC-DNA electrode was obtained from coulometric titrations and gave an affinity constant equal to 2.76 x 10(4) L mol(-1). From the studies of the interaction in solution, the diffusion coefficient of free and DNA-bound NR, binding constant and binding site size of the DNA-NR complex was also obtained simultaneously by non-linear fitting analysis of voltammetric data. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.