This paper is an overview of sensor development based on metal oxide nanostructures. While nanostructures such as nanorods show significant potential as enabling materials for chemical sensors, a number of significant technical challenges remain. The major issues addressed in this work revolve around the ability to make workable sensors. This paper discusses efforts to address three technical barriers related to the application of nanostructures into sensor systems: 1) Improving contact of the nanostructured materials with electrodes in a microsensor structure; 2) Controling nanostructure crystallinity to allow control of the detection mechanism; and 3) Widening the range of gases that can be detected by using different nanostructured materials. It is concluded that while this work demonstrates useful tools for further development, these are just the beginning steps towards realization of repeatable, controlled sensor systems using oxide based nanostructures. copyright The Electrochemical Society.