Recent Advances in Aptamer-Based Biosensors for Global Health Applications

Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2021 Apr 19. doi: 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-082020-035644. Online ahead of print.


Since aptamers were first reported in the early 2000s, research on their use for the detection of health-relevant analytical targets has exploded. This review article provides a brief overview of the most recent developments in the field of aptamer-based biosensors for global health applications. The review provides a description of general aptasensing principles and follows up with examples of recent reports of diagnostics-related applications. These applications include detection of proteins and small molecules, circulating cancer cells, whole-cell pathogens, extracellular vesicles, and tissue diagnostics. The review also discusses the main challenges that this growing technology faces in the quest of bringing these new devices from the laboratory to the market. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, Volume 23 is June 2021. Please see for revised estimates.