Exp Mol Med.  2016 May;48(5):e230. 10.1038/emm.2016.44.

Aptamer–nanoparticle complexes as powerful diagnostic and therapeutic tools

  • 1Department of Chemistry, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Gyeongbuk, South Korea. jhhsst@gmail.com ciban@postech.ac.kr


Correct diagnosis and successful therapy are extremely important to enjoy a healthy life when suffering from a disease. To achieve these aims, various cutting-edge technologies have been designed and fabricated to diagnose and treat specific diseases. Among these technologies, aptamer-nanomaterial hybrids have received considerable attention from scientists and doctors because they have numerous advantages over other methods, such as good biocompatibility, low immunogenicity and controllable selectivity. In particular, aptamers, oligonucleic acids or peptides that bind to a specific target molecule, are regarded as outstanding biomolecules. In this review, several screening techniques for aptamers, also called systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) methods, are introduced, and diagnostic and therapeutic aptamer applications are also presented. Furthermore, we describe diverse aptamer-nanomaterial conjugate designs and their applications for diagnosis and therapy.

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