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Optimer™ Beacons

High-performance, single reagent assays for analyte detection and quantification

Aptamer Optimer beacon

Optimer™ beacons are an alternative, fluorescent assay for the detection and quantification of a specific target. Requiring only one reagent for analyte binding and reporting this format offers increased accuracy, consistency and speed of development with lower costs compared to multi-reagent assays.

Utilising FRET-based fluorophores or a compatible fluorophore and quencher, Optimer beacons can yield colour change or gain-of-signal results upon binding the target molecule.

This assay format relies upon the conformational change that occurs when flexible Optimer molecules bind to their target analyte. As a result, this format is difficult to develop using traditional, more rigid, affinity ligands, such as antibodies and engineered protein scaffolds.

Aptamer Optimer Beacon

Optimer beacons can be developed to a range of targets, including small molecules, proteins and cells, for simple solution-based assays that avoid complicated incubations and wash steps.  Just add your sample, mix, and read! These assays are ideal for field-based applications, offering rapid diagnostic solutions with a simple hand-held reader.

Key benefits of Optimer beacons
  • Variety of potential target molecules – from small molecules to proteins and cells
  • Multiplex assays using a variety of fluorophore reporters
  • Rapid development with Optimers available in as little as 4 weeks
  • Cost-effective, single-reagent assay format
  • Batch-to-batch consistency and security of supply with simple chemical synthesis and modification

A fluorescent-reporter Optimer beacon was generated for the solution-based detection and quantification of the serine protease thrombin. Upon binding thrombin, a conformational change is induced in the Optimer beacon, resulting in a concentration-dependent fluorescent signal.


The thrombin-specific Optimer beacon shows an increase in signal with an increasing concentration of thrombin protein spiked into the PBS buffer. Low background binding from the BSA negative control demonstrates the specificity of the reagent to the thrombin target.

Custom Optimer beacons

Aptamer Group’s established processes can rapidly select Optimers for your target that are compatible with your required target and assay conditions to ensure the viability of your Optimer beacon assay. Following selection our in-house expert team can work with you to support the development of your reagents in your specific test format, from proof-of-concept through to commercialisation.

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