Generation of aptamers from A primer-free randomized ssDNA library using magnetic-assisted rapid aptamer selection

Shih Ming Tsao, Ji Ching Lai, Horng Er Horng, Tu Chen Liu, Chin Yih Hong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Aptamers are oligonucleotides that can bind to specific target molecules. Most aptamers are generated using random libraries in the standard systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). Each random library contains oligonucleotides with a randomized central region and two fixed primer regions at both ends. The fixed primer regions are necessary for amplifying target-bound sequences by PCR. However, these extra-sequences may cause non-specific bindings, which potentially interfere with good binding for random sequences. The Magnetic-Assisted Rapid Aptamer Selection (MARAS) is a newly developed protocol for generating single-strand DNA aptamers. No repeat selection cycle is required in the protocol. This study proposes and demonstrates a method to isolate aptamers for C-reactive proteins (CRP) from a randomized ssDNA library containing no fixed sequences at 5′ and 3′ termini using the MARAS platform. Furthermore, the isolated primer-free aptamer was sequenced and binding affinity for CRP was analyzed. The specificity of the obtained aptamer was validated using blind serum samples. The result was consistent with monoclonal antibody-based nephelometry analysis, which indicated that a primer-free aptamer has high specificity toward targets. MARAS is a feasible platform for efficiently generating primer-free aptamers for clinical diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45478
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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