DNA Aptamer-based detection of prostate cancer

Pawan Jolly, Nello Formisano, Pedro Estrela

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The use of aptamers in biosensing has attracted considerable attention as an alternative to antibodies because of their unique properties such as long-term stability, cost-effectiveness and adjustability to various applications. Among cancers, the early diagnosis of prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the greatest concerns for ageing men worldwide. One of the most commonly used biomarkers for PCa is prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which can be found in elevated levels in patients with cancer. This review presents the gradual transition of research from antibody-based to aptamer-based biosensors, specifically for PSA. A brief description on aptamer-based biosensing for other PCa biomarkers is also presented. Special attention is given to electrochemical methods as analytical techniques for the development of simple, sensitive and cost-effective biosensors. The review also focuses on the different surface chemistries exploited for fabrication and their applications in clinical samples. The use of aptamers represents a promising tool for the development of point-of-care biosensors for the early detection of prostate cancer. In view of the unmatched upper hand of aptamers, future prospects are also discussed, not only in the point-of-care format but also in other novel applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Papers
Issue number1
Early online date28 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • DNA aptamers
  • Biosensor
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Prostate specific antigen
  • Prostate cancer
  • Surface chemistry


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