Bivalent Aptamers a New High Affinity Approach to Bio-sensing
Essential to a biosensor is the creation of a molecule that recognizes the target molecule or disease organism. The classic example of such a recognition molecule is an antibody. Antibodies take a long time to develop and their production typically involves an uncertain step of growing them in an animal or animal cell. Such a process does not lend itself well to massive high-throughput production. High-throughput production can be achieved by combinatorial techniques which create recognition peptides, organic polymers, or RNA molecules (aptamers). The challenge is to make such a recognition molecule with high affinity.
RMD’s scientists are using a new combinatorial approach that creates bivalent aptamers. Bivalent means that the recognition molecule utilizes the combined affinity to two different sites on the analyte to increase binding affinity. Such a system is ideal, not just for clinical assays, but for rapid production of biosensors against newly discovered disease organism and agents of bioterrorism.
RMD is using combinatorial aptamer libraries to develop high affinity specific assays against biological weapons.