Aptamers as drug delivery vehicles

Sven Kruspe, Florian Mittelberger, Kristina Szameit, Ulrich Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The benefits of directed and selective therapy for systemic treatment are reasons for increased interest in exploiting aptamers for cell-specific drug delivery. Nucleic acid based pharmaceuticals represent an interesting and novel tool to counter human diseases. Combining inhibitory potential and cargo transfer upon internalization, nanocarriers as well as various therapeutics including siRNAs, chemotherapeutics, photosensitizers, or proteins can be imported via these synthetic nucleic acids. However, widespread clinical application is still hampered by obstacles that must be overcome. In this review, we give an overview of applications and recent advances in aptamer-mediated drug delivery. We also introduce prominent selection methods as well as useful approaches in choice of drug and conjugation method. We discuss the challenges that need to be considered and present strategies that have been applied to achieve intracellular delivery of effectors transported by readily internalized aptamers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1998-2011
Number of pages14
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • antitumor agents
  • aptamers
  • conjugation
  • drug delivery
  • targeted therapy


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