Aptamers are oligonucleotides (typically 10-60 bases in length) capable of binding target ligands with affinities similar to antibodies. The generation of high density multiplexed aptamer arrays for molecular diagnostics was first proposed nearly ten years ago for the quantification of the thousands of proteins within biological samples, including blood and urine. The tagless aptameric detection of small molecular compounds extends the application of such arrays to bioanalyses at the metabolite level. We present here a minireview on some existing technologies and highlight recent innovations that are being applied to this field, which may facilitate the vision of highly multi-parallelized arrays for the quantitative analysis of biological systems. © 2009 The Royal Society of Chemistry.