Understanding the mechanism of ET (electron transfer) through electroactivemicrobial biofilms is a challenge in the field of fundamental and applied life sciences. To date, electrochemical techniques such as CV (cyclic voltammetry) have been applied successfully to study the ET process in intact microbial biofilms on electrodes, providing important insight into their redox properties. However, CV as such does not provide any structural information about the species involved in the redox process. This shortcoming may limit the understanding of the ET process in microbial biofilms. To overcome this restriction, spectroelectrochemical techniques have been designed consisting of a spectroscopic technique performed in combination with electrochemical methods on the same electrode sample. These analytical approaches allow in vivo measurements of microbial biofilms under physiologically relevant conditions and controlled applied potential. The present review describes these spectroelectrochemical methodologies and critically addresses their impact on the understanding of the ET through biofilms. ©The Authors Journal compilation ©2012 Biochemical Society.