Aptasensors for Point-of-Care Detection of Small Molecules

Marc Prante, Ester Segal, Thomas Scheper, Janina Bahnemann, Johanna Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Aptamers, a group of nucleic acids which can specifically bind to a target molecule, have drawn extensive interest over the past few decades. For analytics, aptamers represent a viable alternative to gold-standard antibodies due to their oligonucleic nature combined with advantageous properties, including higher stability in harsh environments and longer shelf-life. Indeed, over the last decade, aptamers have been used in numerous bioanalytical assays and in various point-of-care testing (POCT) platforms. The latter allows for rapid on-site testing and can be performed outside a laboratory by unskilled labor. Aptamer technology for POCT is not limited just to medical diagnostics; it can be used for a range of applications, including environmental monitoring and quality control. In this review, we critically examine the use of aptamers in POCT with an emphasis on their advantages and limitations. We also examine the recent success of aptasensor technology and how these findings pave the way for the analysis of small molecules in POCT and other health-related applications. Finally, the current major limitations of aptamers are discussed, and possible approaches for overcoming these challenges are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Aptamer
  • Healthcare
  • POCT
  • Point-of-care testing
  • Small molecules

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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