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We present a comprehensive overview of sensor technology exploiting optical whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonances. After a short introduction we begin by detailing the fundamental principles and theory of WGMs in optical microcavities and the transduction mechanisms frequently employed for sensing purposes. Key recent theoretical contributions to the modeling and analysis of WGM systems are highlighted. Subsequently we review the state of the art of WGM sensors by outlining efforts made todoi:10.1364/aop.7.000168 pmid:26973759 pmcid:PMC4786191 fatcat:chycqunw2vcfbpghh6w56tixwe