Aptamers are synthetic molecules that can be raised against any kind of target, including toxic or non immunogenic ones. They bind their target with affinity similar or higher than antibodies. They are 10 fold smaller than antibodies and can be chemically-modified at will in a defined and precise way. They can be easily stored and delivered ; they can be reversibly heat-denatured. The sourcing is guaranteed with a high batch to batch reproducibility.
They can be used under non physiological conditions for analytical purposes.
They are non–immunogenic and can be used in vivo.
|Stability||Sensitive to temperature, antibodies require refrigeration. The denaturation is irreversible||Stable at room temperature, aptamers have longer shelf life. The denaturation is reversible|
|Size||Large molecules (~160 kDa), resist to filtration by the kidneys||Small molecules (30 to 60 nt) that display better access to their target|
|Development process||Require immune response and animals||Selected in vitro by a method that might include positive and negative selection steps, thus ensuring very high specificity. Only a few nanomoles are required for selection. A large molecular diversity is screened|
|Target potential||Targets must produce an immune response||Can bind to very small, non immunogenic, toxic targets|
|Production time and cost||In several months / The production of antibodies requires long and expensive in vivo procedures||In several weeks / The selected aptamers are chemically synthetized, reducing the production cost|
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