An Emerging Class Of Detection Molecules Essay

836 Words Jun 1st, 2016 4 Pages
Aptamers are an emerging class of detection molecules that rival antibodies in diagnostic and therapeutic application [21]. Aptamers are single strands of DNA (ssDNA), RNA, and sometimes peptides, which have a high binding affinity and high specificity for molecular targets [25], as well as large cellular targets. This makes their application in molecular targeting very desirable. Aptamers can bind to a wide variety of targets, ranging from surface proteins on cancer cells (tenascin-C) [7], to the biological agents that cause Malaria [10] and anthrax [11]. Aptamers can also target small organic targets, such as Kanamycin A [1] and glucose [27]. Aptamers also have the ability to bind to very low epitope targets, with the help of modifications, which is a quality most antibodies lack [27]. Some aptamers can exhibit stereoselectivity, which is a property antibodies lack [30]. Aptamers have the ability to become alternatives to antibodies [21], but more research will need to be done on them before aptamers can replace antibodies, such as making them commercially available and stable in biological fluids. Aptamers hold promise in methods of drug targeting, drug delivery, and screening for a wide variety of potential contaminants. Aptamers that have a high affinity for drugs can also be used to create Therapeutic Drug Monitoring methods for their drug. An aptamer can recognize and bind to specific targets because of its complex three-dimensional structure, which is determined by a…

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