Aptamers against Small Molecules

Small molecule targets (such as antibiotics, many drugs, toxins, food additives etc) are often perceived as difficult target to obtain a suitable affinity ligand. Isolating antibodies against targets of this nature is often problematic as the targets are either poorly immunogenic or toxic.

Aptamers offer an alternative means of recognising small molecules. As nucleic acids are incredibly flexible; they are able to form complex folds and cage their targets. This interaction allows aptamers to form tighter, more specific interactions.

We have developed a proprietary automated selection approach, which allows us to isolate aptamers against small molecule targets without the need to modify or immobilise the target; enabling complete access for ligand binding. We also include counter-selection steps to ensure that the aptamers are specific to the target of interest. This gives aptamers greater specificity than can be achieved by other affinity ligands.

As with other Aptamer Group selection methodologies; we isolate our small molecule targeting aptamers using selection conditions tailored to the end application. This makes them especially useful as alternatives in ELISA-like assays, Lateral Flow Devices, Biosensors, etc. You can read more about these applications in our diagnostics page.

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Novel ‘gain of signal’ approach for small molecule detection

Our specially designed displacement approach allows us to select aptamers which can directly be used in Lateral Flow Devices, ELISA-like assays etc., for the detection of small molecules. We developed also developed a particular method that allows for ‘Gain of Signal’ sensing from a single reagent (no need for sandwich-pairs) in these formats.