15 April 2016

Update from Chief Technical Officer Dr David Bunka, Aptamers 2016

It was great to be invited back to the International Society of Aptamers, Aptamers 2016 for the third time. The annual conference brings together academia, and industrial aptamer preachers and solution providers. It addresses therapeutic, diagnostic, analytical and basic research applications aptamers.

As this is the third time I have presented at Aptamers 2016 I wanted to discuss a key area of aptamer based, Biomarker Discovery. The primary outline of my talk was to highlight issues regarding traditional biomarker discovery and how these same pitfalls can affect aptamer biomarker discovery. Some of these key issues are cell variability and viability between labs in both academia and industry and low expressing novel marker. These issues result in aptamers which do not work from lab to lab and do not identify these unique markers. Using our Aptasort technology we can enhance the expression profiles of cells which will allow us to hopefully identify critical therapeutic related biomarkers.

Just like last year there are more innovative uses of aptamers coming into publication including more modifications allowing them to be more protein like. What was clear was that the uses of gold nanoparticles were a keen area of interest for both academic and industry leaders. Although interesting, using this technique to measure affinity of aptamers can be problematic due to none specific aggregation. At Aptamer Group we use a mixture of biolayer interferometry (BLI) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to give accurate affinity measurements.

The conference was a great success, over the past 3 years it has grown dramatically and hopefully in time aptamers will become more prominent in the industry domain.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact the team at info@aptamergroup.co.uk