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What is an aptamer?

Aptamers function as antibody alternatives for all applications

Aptamers are small synthetic nucleic acid-based affinity binders that can bind specifically to a given target. As such, aptamers can be used as an antibody alternative in a variety of research, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. These short RNA and 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 traditionally difficult targets 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 aptamers and 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 in diagnostics and as therapeutics.

Why work with Aptamer Group?

Our extensive experience with aptamers led to the development of Optimers™. Optimers are next-generation aptamers, that have been optimised according to the target, application and assay environment to ensure optimal performance.

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 aptamer are integrated into our aptamer selection and development processes, resulting in a truly customised solution. These aptamers 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.

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. large molecules – viruses, cells, tissues and whole organs

Start your next project with Aptamer Group

Contact one of our experts today