The ease and high-throughput nature of flow cytometry has meant that it has become a necessity in most life science laboratories. Traditionally, flow cytometry has relied heavily on fluorescently labelled antibodies but aptamers have rapidly become an emerging partner technology due to the speed of generation and the ability to be conjugated to almost any fluorophore. In addition, the highly specific nature of aptamers means they are ideally placed for binding in complex media e.g. patient blood samples, yielding accurate data in a matter of minutes.
The use of aptamers in flow cytometric experiments allows the researcher new levels of experimental design. Aptamers can be conjugated to fluorophores from an extensive library and can be optimised to give minimal bleed though from channel to channel, preventing complex and time-consuming compensation adjustments.
Flow Assisted Cell Sorting
Alongside classical receptor expression experiments, aptamers can be used in cell sorting applications. Since the specificity of the affinity reagent is key to obtaining isolates free from contamination of other cells, aptamers perform very well in these settings.