Aptamers vs. Antibodies

Aptamers vs. Antibodies

We are often asked, ‘what are the main differences between aptamers and antibodies?’ The following table highlights the contrasting characteristics which make aptamers a viable, and in some cases a better, alternative to antibodies for most applications.

 

Aptamers Antibodies
Target Range Can be produced against almost anything Limited to targets that produce an immune response
Development Time Several weeks Several months
Synthesis & Manufacture
  • Produced in vitro (no animals used)
  • Low batch-to-batch variability
  • Chemically synthesised. Excellent QC
  • Produced in animals and then by recombinant methods
  • Poor batch-to-batch reproducibility
  • Expensive reactors required
Handling & Storage
  • Stable at ambient temperatures
  • No freezing or refrigeration needed
  • Refrigeration/freezing
  • Easily denatured
Stability
  • Refrigeration/ freezing
  • Can withstand repeated rounds of denaturation without loss of function
Made from protein. Easily denatured losing structure, function under wide range of conditions
Shelf Life
  • Long (several years if frozen)
  • Can be reused in some applications
  • Limited (6 months)
  • Single use
In vivo Complications No intrinsic immune response Can cause immune response if used as a drug
Down Stream Applications/Assay Development Functional under a broader range of conditions defined by the customer based upon the intended end use Will only work under or near physiological conditions
Affinity & Specificity High affinity and greater potential for specificity due to nature of the isolation process High affinity and good specificity