Synthetic nucleic acid ligands (aptamers) have emerged as effective delivery tools for many therapeutic oligonucleotide-based drugs, including small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). In this review, we summarize recent progress in the aptamer selection technology that has made possible the identification of cell-specific, cell-internalizing aptamers for the cell-targeted delivery of therapeutic oligonucleotides. In addition, we review the original, proof-of-concept aptamer-siRNA delivery studies and discuss recent advances in aptamer-siRNA conjugate designs for applications ranging from cancer therapy to the development of targeted antivirals. Challenges and prospects of aptamer-targeted siRNA drugs for clinical development are further highlighted.
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