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What is an aptamer?

Aptamers are antibody alternatives with specific advantages to deliver novel solutions driving discovery

Aptamers are nucleic acid-based affinity binders that can bind specifically to a given target.

Aptamers can be used as an antibody alternative in a variety of therapeutic, diagnostic and target-binding applications. These short single-stranded RNA or DNA nucleic acid molecules are capable of folding to:

  • wrap around a small molecule target
  • fit into clefts and gaps within the surface of much larger target molecules

This flexible nature of aptamers, to fold into or around the complex surfaces of a target molecule, means that aptamers can be selected to a wide target range, including targets that are traditionally difficult for other affinity reagents.

Aptamer Chart Antibody

Aptamers are synthetic affinity molecules that can specifically bind to both large and small molecules

The ability of aptamers to mimic antibodies means that aptamers can be substituted for antibodies in a wide variety of applications, such as lateral flow devices, ELISA, and affinity chromatography. Aptamers can also be readily conjugated to gold nanoparticles or quantum dots as a basis for point-of-care diagnostics.

Aptamer Benefits compared to antibodies

Aptamers offer significant experimental and production benefits over alternative affinity reagents

Our aptamer selection processes are engineered to overcome many of the traditional problems associated with antibodies and other protein affinity reagents and offer a viable alternative for use as therapeutics, in diagnostics and many research applications.

Why work with Aptamer Group?

Our extensive experience with aptamers led to the development of Optimer™ ligands. Optimers are next-generation aptamers, that have been optimized according to the target, application and assay environment, and manufacturability characteristics of the molecule to ensure optimal performance and commercialization.

We have a high success rate in identifying functional aptamers with high target affinity and selectivity. We start with the end in mind. The specific end-use application and performance requirements of the Optimer are integrated into our selection and development processes, resulting in a truly customized solution. These Optimer ligands are further developed through our high-throughput processes to deliver high-performing, next-generation aptamers with the best manufacturability profile for simple downstream integration.

Optimers have been successfully selected to all major target classes.

To increase your success with each discovery campaign, we have proven success in applying our aptamer expertise to tackle the three major target classes:

  1. small molecules
  2. peptides, proteins and protein complexes
  3. viruses, cells, tissues and whole organs


Start your next project with Aptamer Group

Contact one of our experts today