What is aptamer technology?

What is aptamer technology?

Abstract. Aptamers are nucleic acid molecules that mimic antibodies by folding into complex 3D shapes that bind to specific targets. Although some aptamers exist naturally as the ligand-binding elements of riboswitches, most are generated in vitro and can be tailored for a specific target.

How do you make an aptamer?

Two major steps exist in aptamer design selection and optimization. In the first step, several polynucleotides with probable binding affinity toward a target are screened by using the SELEX method and then selected. In the second step, aptamers with detected high affinity are shortened, modified, and stabilized.

Why is an aptamer a practical strategy for clinical application?

Aptamers are a special class of nucleic acid molecules that are beginning to be investigated for clinical use. With advances in targeted-therapy, imaging, and nanotechnology, aptamers are readily considered as potential targeting ligands because of their chemical synthesis and ease of modification for conjugation.

Where are aptamers used?

Aptamers can be used as:

  • Affinity reagents.
  • Bioimaging probes.
  • Sensing reagents.
  • Therapeutics, e.g. Pegaptanib.
  • Controlled release of therapeutics.
  • Therapeutic delivery vehicles.
  • Clinical & environmental diagnostics.
  • Reagents for High-Throughput Screening (HTS) of small molecules.

What do aptamers target?

Aptamers are typically screened via Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (SELEX) [1, 2], using targets ranging from small molecules [1, 3, 4] to biomacromolecules [2, 5–10], infected cells [11], stem cells [12], and cancer cells [13–20].

Why are aptamers better than antibodies?

Aptamers offer significant advantages over antibodies [8]. They are in general more stable than antibodies, and have a longer shelf life. Aptamers are produced through a simple and inexpensive process and the time required to generate aptamers is comparatively short.

What are aptamers?

Aptamers are short DNA/RNA oligonucleotides capable of binding to target molecules with high affinity and specificity. The process of selecting an aptamer is called Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (SELEX).

Can aptamers be used as diagnostic tools?

Due to the high affinity to their targets, aptamers can be developed as diagnostic tools.

Is there a computational tool to identify target-specific Aptamers from HT-SELEX data?

Results: Here, we present APTANI, a computational tool to identify target-specific aptamers from HT-SELEX data and secondary structure information.

How are aptamers selected in vitro?

Aptamers are selected in vitro by the use of an unsupervised iterative method called SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment), in which aptamers specific for a ligand are selected from an initial pool of random oligonucleotides using counter-selection and selection procedures.

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