Abstract A sensitive electrochemical aptasensor for thrombin detection is presented based on the host-guest recognition technique. In this sensing protocol, a 15 based thrombin aptamer (ab. TBA) was dually labeled with a thiol at its 3′ end and a 4-((4-(dimethylamino)phenyl)azo) benzoic acid (dabcyl) at its 5′ end, respectively, which was previously immobilized on one Au electrode surface by AuS bond and used as the thrombin probe during the protein sensing procedure. One special electrochemical marker was prepared by modifying CdS nanoparticle with β-cyclodextrins (ab. CdS-CDs), which employed as electrochemical signal provider and would conjunct with the thrombin probe modified electrode through the host–guest recognition of CDs to dabcyl. In the absence of thrombin, the probe adopted linear structure to conjunct with CdS-CDs. In present of thrombin, the TBA bond with thrombin and transformed into its special G-quarter structure, which forced CdS-CDs into the solution. Therefore, the target-TBA binding event can be sensitively transduced via detecting the electrochemical oxidation current signal of Cd of CdS nanoparticles in the solution. Using this method, as low as 4.6pM thrombin had been detected.