"Smart" materials are an emerging category of multifunctional materials with physical or chemical properties that can be controllably altered in response to an external stimulus. By combining the standard properties of the advanced material with the unique ability to recognize and adapt in response to a change in their environment, these materials are finding applications in areas such as sensing and drug delivery. While the majority of these materials are responsive to physical or chemical changes, a particularly exciting area of research seeks to develop smart materials that are sensitive to specific molecular or biomolecular stimuli. These systems require the integration of a molecular recognition probe specific to the target molecule of interest. The ease of synthesis and labeling, low cost, and stability of DNA aptamers make them uniquely suited to effectively serve as molecular recognition probes in novel smart material systems. This review will highlight current work in the area of aptamer-based smart materials and prospects for their future applications.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Aptamers, Gated nanoparticle, Hydrogel, Layer-by-layer, Logic gates, Microcapsules, Nanopore, Polyelectrolyte multilayer, Targeted delivery
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/s140203156
Journal Sensors
Mastronardi, E. (Emily), Foster, A. (Amanda), Zhang, X. (Xueru), & DeRosa, M.C. (2014). Smart materials based on DNA aptamers: Taking aptasensing to the next level. Sensors (Vol. 14, pp. 3156–3171). doi:10.3390/s140203156