Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2018, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (4): 348-360.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201708311

Special Issue: Special Issue for Highly Cited Researchers

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Aptamer-Conjugated Nanomaterials for Specific Cancer Diagnosis and Targeted Therapy

Huarong BAI,Huanhuan FAN,Xiaobing ZHANG,Zhuo CHEN,Weihong TAN*()   

  • Received:2017-07-10 Published:2018-01-02
  • Contact: Weihong TAN
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21221003);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21327009)


Owing to their unique optical, electronic, magnetic, and surface plasmon resonance properties, nanomaterials have attracted significant attention for potential bioanalysis and biomedical applications. Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides, which are generated by a procedure termed as SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential Enrichment) and typically demonstrate high affinity and selectivity toward their target molecules. As a result of their unique characteristics, aptamers are promising recognition units that can be conjugated with nanomaterials for cancer cell imaging, diagnosis, and cancer therapy. By integrating the recognition abilities of aptamers with the properties of nanomaterials, aptamer-conjugated nanomaterials can serve as extraordinary tools for bioimaging and cancer therapy. Recently, aptamer-conjugated nanomaterials have attracted significant attention in the field of specific cancer cell targeted therapy owing to their improved efficacy and lower toxicity. In this review, we summarize the progress achieved of aptamer-conjugated nanomaterials as nanocarriers for specific cancer cell diagnosis and targeted therapy. In addition to drug delivery for cancer therapy, the various achievements of the aptamer-conjugated nanomaterials in combination with other emerging technologies to improve the efficiency and selectivity of cancer therapy have also been reviewed.

Key words: Aptamer, Nanomaterial, Specific recognition, Cancer diagnosis, Targeted therapy