Molecular recognition is essential to the development of biomaterials. Aptamers are a unique class of synthetic ligands interacting with not only their target molecules with high affinities and specificities but also their complementary sequences with high fidelity. Thus, aptamers have recently attracted significant attention in the development of an emerging class of biomaterials, that is, aptamer-functionalized hydrogels. In this review, we introduce the methods of incorporating aptamers into hydrogels as pendant motifs or crosslinkers. We further introduce the functions of these hydrogels in recognizing proteins, cells, and analytes through four applications including protein delivery, cell capture, regenerative medicine, and molecular biosensing. Notably, as aptamer-functionalized hydrogels have the characteristics of both aptamers and hydrogels, their potential applications are broad and beyond the scope of this review. This article is categorized under: Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials > Nucleic Acid-Based Structures Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies.
|Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
|Published - Nov 1 2021
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering