Aptamer affinity reagents are often considered when the development of traditional affinity reagents is particularly difficult, presenting some unique and interesting challenges. Here are 5 of the most interesting aptamer selections Base Pair has performed.
1. Binding to Zika Virus in Mosquito Saliva
As part of a collaborative project to develop environmental tests to identify infected mosquitos, Base Pair performed an aptamer selection in mosquito saliva. A key advantage of aptamers is the ability to select for binding in a wide range of matrices. This can be highly useful in reagent development for environmental and industrial testing.
2. Entry into Specific Cells
Using cell-based selection and aptamer-based imaging, Base Pair has selected for aptamers that enter cells. Aptamers that selectively bind a particular cell type are being evaluated by multiple groups for targeted drug delivery. The identification of aptamers that also enter the cell has huge potential for in vivo diagnostics and therapeutics.
3. Selective Binding to the Primary Active Ingredient in Marijuana
When selecting aptamers that bind THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, it was important to select for aptamers that bind THC in human saliva, but NOT the long half-life metabolite of THC. This is one case where negative selection, or elimination of sequences that bind a similar compound, was used to improve aptamer specificity.
4. Binding to Pork Tapeworm, taenia solium, in Fecal Homogenate
Using a homogenate of infected feces, aptamers were selected for binding to taenia solium, the pork tapeworm. Aptamers can be selected for binding in a wide range of biological samples, including serum, saliva, urine, and fecal samples.
5. Identification of Nerve Agents VX and Sarin
Base Pair has successfully selected aptamers that can differentiate between the small molecule synthetic nerve agents VX and sarin. Because aptamers are selected in vitro, without the use of living cells or animals, they can be selected against both non-immunogenic and toxic compounds. In addition to synthetic nerve agents, Base Pair has performed successful selections against fungal and bacterial toxins.
Base Pair’s collaborative and creative approach has led to the successful selection of aptamers for a wide range of “difficult” targets. Contact Base Pair today to request a free project proposal.