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Aptamers excel as binding reagents in ELISA replacement assays for antibiotics in complex media such as plasma, milk and others

18th May 2018.

Traditionally small molecules, such as antibiotics, have been difficult targets for ELISA development. Aptamer Group has selected aptamers that bind to small molecules, previously inaccessible to other binding technologies. Utilising our state-of-the-art automation and parallel processing techniques, we can select high affinity and highly specific aptamers against small molecule targets, in solution. These aptamers can be integrated into a variety of assay platforms, including ELISA-like assays.

In this study, we demonstrate the use of our aptamers in an ELISA-like assay. These assays have generally been limited to larger molecules (proteins etc.) due to the common requirement for a ‘sandwich pair’ of antibodies. Using state-of-the-art aptamer selection approaches, we can develop ELISA-like assays without the requirement for a ‘sandwich pair’. We have adapted these principals to allow monitoring of small molecule targets without the need for a target immobilisation step.

During our aptamer isolation process, we include complex matrices (e.g. milk, plasma, river water etc.) to ensure that the resulting aptamers are functional in the appropriate medium. Labelling the selected aptamers with appropriate fluorophores, or conjugating signal enhancing enzymes, allows direct detection of the interaction. This approach has been applied to the detection of difficult targets (including food/environmental contaminants, therapeutics, hormones and antibiotics).

This data demonstrates that the aptamers function in an ELISA like format; fluorescently labelled aptamers were used to detect the targets in a buffer or buffered milk sample, spiked with either the target or counter-target antibiotic. This study shows clear target specific and concentration dependant binding, in both matrices.

To discuss aptamer technology with us and see how Aptamer Group can assist with your work, please contact us.

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