Recent Developments in Aptasensors for Diagnostic Applications

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9329–9358
Journal / PublicationACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number8
Online published6 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2021


Aptamers are exciting smart molecular probes for specific recognition of disease biomarkers. A number of strategies have been developed to convert target-aptamer binding into physically detectable signals. Since the aptamer sequence was first discovered, a large variety of aptamer-based biosensors have been developed, with considerable attention paid to their potential applications in clinical diagnostics. So far, a variety of techniques in combination with a wide range of functional nanomaterials have been used for the design of aptasensors to further improve the sensitivity and detection limit of target determination. In this paper, the advantages of aptamers over traditional antibodies as the molecular recognition components in biosensors for high-throughput screening target molecules are highlighted. Aptamer-target pairing configurations are predominantly single- or dual-site binding; the design of recognition modes of each aptamer-target pairing configuration is described. Furthermore, signal transduction strategies including optical, electrical, mechanical, and mass-sensitive modes are clearly explained together with examples. Finally, we summarize the recent progress in the development of aptamer-based biosensors for clinical diagnosis, including detection of cancer and disease biomarkers and in vivo molecular imaging. We then conclude with a discussion on the advanced development and challenges of aptasensors.

Research Area(s)

  • aptamers, aptasensors, detection, diagnosis, recognition