Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 399, Issue 4, pp 1591–1599

Nucleic acid aptamers for clinical diagnosis: cell detection and molecular imaging


DOI: 10.1007/s00216-010-4559-x

Cite this article as:
Soontornworajit, B. & Wang, Y. Anal Bioanal Chem (2011) 399: 1591. doi:10.1007/s00216-010-4559-x


Nucleic acid aptamers have recently attracted significant attention in the field of clinical diagnosis because they have numerous merits, such as high affinity, high specificity, small size, little immunogenicity, stable structures, and ease of synthesis. This review focuses on discussing the potential applications of aptamers in cell detection and molecular imaging. For the ex vivo cell detection, this review discusses the status of five strategies: endogenous nucleic acid analysis, flow cytometry analysis, nanoparticle-based cell sensing, microfluidic cell separation, and histological examination. This review also discusses in vivo molecular and cell imaging by introducing aptamer-based molecular imaging, cell imaging, and integrated imaging and therapy. On the basis of the status of these promising studies, this review summarizes several challenging issues and unmet needs that may require more effort or attention in the future.


Nucleic acid aptamerAntibody mimicAntibodyDendrimerNanomaterialNanoparticleMolecular recognitionUltrasensitive detectionMolecular imagingCell imaging

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular EngineeringUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA