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Gainesville, FL, United States

Zhu H.,Center for Molecular Engineering for Theranostics | Li J.,Center for Molecular Engineering for Theranostics | Zhang X.-B.,Center for Molecular Engineering for Theranostics | Ye M.,Center for Molecular Engineering for Theranostics | And 2 more authors.

Aptamers are emerging as promising therapeutic agents and recognition elements. In particular, cell-SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) allows in vitro selection of aptamers selective to whole cells without prior knowledge of the molecular signatures on the cell surface. The advantage of aptamers is their high affinitiy and binding specificity towards the target. This Minireview focuses on single-stranded (ss) oligonucleotide (DNA or RNA)-based aptamers as cancer therapeutics/theranostics. Specifically, aptamer-nano-material conjugates, aptamer-drug conjugates, targeted phototherapy and targeted biotherapy are covered in detail. In reviewing the literature, the potential of aptamers as delivery systems for therapeutic and imaging applications in cancer is clear, however, major challenges remain to be resolved, such as the poorly understood pharmacokinetics, toxicity and off-target effects, before they can be fully exploited in a clinical setting. © 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Tan W.,Hunan University | Tan W.,Center for Research at Bio Nano Interface | Wang H.,Center for Research at Bio Nano Interface | Chen Y.,Hunan University | And 7 more authors.
Trends in Biotechnology

The active targeting of drugs in a cell-, tissue- or disease-specific manner represents a potentially powerful technology with widespread applications in medicine, including the treatment of cancers. Aptamers have properties such as high affinity and specificity for targets, easy chemical synthesis and modification, and rapid tissue penetration. They have become attractive molecules in diagnostics and therapeutics rivaling and, in some cases, surpassing other molecular probes, such as antibodies. In this review, we highlight the recent progress in aptamer-mediated delivery for therapeutics and disease-targeting based on aptamer integration with a variety of nanomaterials, such as gold nanorods, DNA micelles, DNA hydrogels and carbon nanotubes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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