Aptamer-Functionalized DNA Nanostructures for Biological Applications

Xiaoyi Fu, Fangqi Peng, Jungyeon Lee, Qi Yang, Fei Zhang, Mengyi Xiong, Gezhi Kong, Hong Min Meng, Guoliang Ke, Xiao Bing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


DNA nanostructures hold great promise for various applications due to their remarkable properties, including programmable assembly, nanometric positional precision, and dynamic structural control. The past few decades have seen the development of various kinds of DNA nanostructures that can be employed as useful tools in fields such as chemistry, materials, biology, and medicine. Aptamers are short single-stranded nucleic acids that bind to specific targets with excellent selectivity and high affinity and play critical roles in molecular recognition. Recently, many attempts have been made to integrate aptamers with DNA nanostructures for a range of biological applications. This review starts with an introduction to the features of aptamer-functionalized DNA nanostructures. The discussion then focuses on recent progress (particularly during the last five years) in the applications of these nanostructures in areas such as biosensing, bioimaging, cancer therapy, and biophysics. Finally, challenges involved in the practical application of aptamer-functionalized DNA nanostructures are discussed, and perspectives on future directions for research into and applications of aptamer-functionalized DNA nanostructures are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalTopics in current chemistry (Cham)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 7 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Aptamer
  • Bioimaging
  • Biosensing
  • DNA nanostructures
  • DNA origami
  • Drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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