Advantages of Aptamers over Antibodies

Antibodies have had a tremendous impact on research, diagnostics and therapeutics for many years. Countless applications depend on antibodies as the source for a recognition element. However, with the demand for more advanced sensors with increased utility, aptamers have provided a possible alternative to antibodies by bringing in new features that may solve many of the unmet challenges when developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics. 

8 Reasons For Considering Aptamers Over Antibodies 

Thermal Stability

DNA aptamers are highly resistant to thermal degradation. They able to revert back to their native structure without loss of activity. This extends their shelf-life, making storage and shipping at room temperature a viable option.

Product Quality

Aptamers are chemically synthesized in controlled environments. This results in little to no batch-to-batch variation, no contamination from biological sources, and rapid scale-up capabilities.

In vitro Screening

Unlike antibodies, aptamers are isolated in vitro. This significantly reduces the economic burden as the use of animals and their associated costs for maintenance and ethics requirements.  

Economic Production

Cost of aptamer production is predictable and cost-effective. This features makes them an attractive option for use in assay and therapeutic development.


Unmodified aptamers do not elicit a negative immune response and are generally safe for handling.


Aptamers are highly soluble in aqueous solutions and will not aggregate and form insoluble precipitates as seen with proteins. 

Range of Selection Targets

Antibodies are limited by the choice of target as it requires a strong immune response for production. In contrast, aptamers have been developed for a broad range of targets from small molecules to whole cells. 


Chemical Modification

Aptamers are highly amenable to chemical modifications allow them to change their physical and chemical attributes. This also extends their utility for conjugation to various organic and inorganic molecules.