Aptamers are lengths of single or double stranded nucleotides, typically between 22 and 100 bases long, which can be generated to recognise specific small molecules, peptides, proteins, or even cells and tissues. They have shown great potential as diagnostic and therapeutic agents in anticancer treatment, due to their high specificity and affinity to their target molecules. They have also recently found a niche in the field of biosensing due to their advantages over antibodies; being simpler to synthesise, modify and image, as well as their reported superior affinities and ease of use.
Simmons, S. C. ; Velasco, M. N. ; Brenchley, P. E. C.; McKenzie, E. and Missailidis, S. (2008). Developing aptamers as effective anticancer agents or recognition units in biosensor technologies. Anticancer Research, 28(5C) p. 3486.