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Sensors (Basel). 2012;12(1):612-31. doi: 10.3390/s120100612. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Aptamers and their biological applications.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Pohang University of Science and Technology, San31, Hyoja-dong, Pohang, Gyeongbuk 790-784, Korea.


Recently, aptamers have attracted the attention of many scientists, because they not only have all of the advantages of antibodies, but also have unique merits, such as thermal stability, low cost, and unlimited applications. In this review, we present the reasons why aptamers are known as alternatives to antibodies. Furthermore, several types of in vitro selection processes, including nitrocellulose membrane filtration, affinity chromatography, magnetic bead, and capillary electrophoresis-based selection methods, are explained in detail. We also introduce various applications of aptamers for the diagnosis of diseases and detection of small molecules. Numerous analytical techniques, such as electrochemical, colorimetric, optical, and mass-sensitive methods, can be utilized to detect targets, due to convenient modifications and the stability of aptamers. Finally, several medical and analytical applications of aptamers are presented. In summary, aptamers are promising materials for diverse areas, not just as alternatives to antibodies, but as the core components of medical and analytical equipment.


SELEX; aptamer; aptasensor; biosensor; diagnosis; in vitro selection

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