"Smart" materials are polymer systems that are able to change their physical or chemical properties in response to external stimuli in their environment. By adding a specific molecular recognition probe to a polymer, hybrid materials can be developed that retain the properties of the advanced polymer and gain the ability to respond to a specific molecular target. Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides that are well-suited to serve as molecular recognition probes due to the specificity and affinity of their target recognition as well as their stability and ease of synthesis and labeling. In particular, their negatively charged backbone makes for their facile incorporation into polyelectrolyte-based materials. This article will provide a brief review of the currently reported biosensor and delivery platforms that have been reported employing aptamer-polyelectrolyte materials, as well as a detailed description of the methods used to synthesize and study films and microcapsules containing small-molecule aptamer probes.

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Keywords Aptamer, Biosensing, Controlled delivery, Microcapsules, Polyelectrolyte multilayers, Thin films
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymeth.2015.10.018
Journal Methods
Mastronardi, E. (Emily), Tsae, P.K. (Phepafatso K.), Zhang, X. (Xueru), Pach, A. (Amanda), Sultan, Y. (Yasir), & DeRosa, M.C. (2016). Preparation and characterization of aptamer-polyelectrolyte films and microcapsules for biosensing and delivery applications. Methods, 97, 75–87. doi:10.1016/j.ymeth.2015.10.018