The systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) is an experimental procedure that allows screening of given molecular targets by desired binding affinities from an initial random pool of oligonucleotides and oligomers. The final products of SELEX are usually referred as aptamers, which are recognized as promising molecules for a variety of biomedical applications. However, SELEX is an iterative process requiring multiple rounds of extraction and amplification that demands significant time and labor. Therefore, this study presents a novel, automatic, miniature SELEX platform. As a demonstration, the rapid screening of C-reactive protein (CRP) aptamers was performed. By utilizing microfluidic technologies and magnetic beads conjugated with CRP, aptamers with a high affinity to CRP were extracted from a random single-strand deoxyribonucleic acid (ssDNA) pool. These aptamers were further amplified by an on-chip polymerase chain reaction (PCR) process. After five consecutive extraction and amplification cycles, a specific aptamer with the highest affinity was screened automatically. The screened aptamers were used as a recognition molecule for the detection of CRP. The developed microsystem demonstrated fast screening of CRP aptamers and can be used as a powerful tool to select analyte-specific aptamers for biomedical applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering