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Using Aptamer–Nanoparticle Conjugates for Cancer Cells Detection

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Accurate and sensitive diagnosis is particularly critical in the early stages of tumor development in order to facilitate the selection of effective therapeutic pathways and improve clinical outcomes. However, accurate and sensitive detection of malignant cells requires probes capable of differentiating the unique features of target cells at the molecular level. Recently, aptamers have emerged as a powerful class of ligands for specific biomolecular targeting. To select aptamers which can bind their target cells with high affinity and specificity, the cell-based SELEX method has been developed. Because of its fast enrichment, easy operation and ability to obtain a group of probes simultaneously, cell-based SELEX has allowed expansion of aptamer use to the fields of cancer cell detection, imaging, and targeted therapy. In large part, the development of nanomaterials as aptamer bioconjugates has increased the interest of using aptamer–nanoparticle conjugates as potential diagnostic and therapeutic vehicles. In this review, we will outline the routes of synthesis, fundamental properties, and potential applications of several types of nanoparticles, including dyedoped silica nanoparticles, gold-based nanoparticles, and magnetic nanoparticles. By combining such nanomaterials with cancer-related aptamers, a novel class of bioconjugates is emerging with promising potential for application in cancer separation, detection, imaging and targeted therapy.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 01 December 2008

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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