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pH-Control in Aptamer-Based Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and Analytical Applications

Department of Chemistry and Institute of Biochemistry, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S5B6, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 80;
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 26 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer-Based Diagnostics and Therapeutics)
Aptamer binding has been used effectively for diagnostics, in-vivo targeting of therapeutics, and the construction and control of nanomachines. Nanostructures that respond to pH by releasing or changing affinity to a target have also been used for in vivo delivery, and in the construction of sensors and re-usable nanomachines. There are many applications that use aptamers together with pH-responsive materials, notably the targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics. However, the number of reported applications that directly use pH to control aptamer binding is small. In this review, we first discuss the use of aptamers with pH-responsive nanostructures for chemotherapeutic and other applications. We then discuss applications that use pH to denature or otherwise disrupt the binding of aptamers. Finally, we discuss motifs using non-canonical nucleic acid base pairing that can shift conformation in response to pH, followed by an overview of engineered pH-controlled aptamers designed using those motifs. View Full-Text
Keywords: aptamer; pH-responsive; drug delivery; biosensors; DNA nanotechnology; i-motif; triplex aptamer; pH-responsive; drug delivery; biosensors; DNA nanotechnology; i-motif; triplex
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Belleperche, M.; DeRosa, M.C. pH-Control in Aptamer-Based Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and Analytical Applications. Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11, 80.

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