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Review Article

Recent Advances in the Selection of Cancer-Specific Aptamers for the Development of Biosensors

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 37 ]


Diana A. Sousa, Mariana Carneiro, Débora Ferreira, Felismina T.C. Moreira, Maria Goreti F. Sales and Lígia R. Rodrigues*   Pages 5850 - 5880 ( 31 )


An early diagnosis has the potential to greatly decrease cancer mortality. For that purpose, specific cancer biomarkers have been molecularly targeted by aptamer sequences to enable an accurate and rapid detection. Aptamer-based biosensors for cancer diagnostics are a promising alternative to those using antibodies, due to their high affinity and specificity to the target molecules and advantageous production. Synthetic nucleic acid aptamers are generated by in vitro Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential enrichment (SELEX) methodologies that have been improved over the years to enhance the efficacy and shorten the selection process. Aptamers have been successfully applied in electrochemical, optical, photoelectrochemical and piezoelectrical-based detection strategies. These aptasensors comprise a sensitive, accurate and inexpensive option for cancer detection being used as point-of-care devices. This review highlights the recent advances in cancer biomarkers, achievements and optimizations made in aptamer selection, as well as the different aptasensors developed for the detection of several cancer biomarkers.


SELEX aptamer technique, biomarkers, neoplasms, diagnosis, molecular probe techniques, biosensing techniques.


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