Integrated Microfluidic Isolation of Aptamers Using Electrophoretic Oligonucleotide Manipulation
We present a microfluidic approach to integrated isolation of DNA aptamers via systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). The approach employs a microbead-based protocol for the processes of affinity selection and amplification of target-binding oligonucleotides, and an electrophoretic DNA manipulation scheme for the coupling of these processes, which are required to occur in different buffers. This achieves the full microfluidic integration of SELEX, thereby enabling highly efficient isolation of aptamers in drastically reduced times and with minimized consumption of biological material. The approach as such also offers broad target applicability by allowing selection of aptamers with respect to targets that are either surface-immobilized or solution-borne, potentially allowing aptamers to be developed as readily available affinity reagents for a wide range of targets. We demonstrate the utility of this approach on two different procedures, respectively for isolating aptamers against a surface-immobilized protein (immunoglobulin E) and a solution-phase small molecule (bisboronic acid in the presence of glucose). In both cases aptamer candidates were isolated in three rounds of SELEX within a total process time of approximately 10 hours.
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- Scientific Reports