Advances in the development of aptamer drug conjugates for targeted drug delivery

Ke Chen, Bo Liu, Bo Yu, Wen Zhong, Yi Lu, Jiani Zhang, Jie Liao, Jun Liu, Ying Pu, Liping Qiu, Liqin Zhang, Huixia Liu, Weihong Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A key goal of modern medicine is target-specific therapeutic intervention. However, most drugs lack selectivity, resulting in ‘off-target’ side effects. To address the requirements of ‘targeted therapy,’ aptamers, which are artificial oligonucleotides, have been used as novel targeting ligands to construct aptamer drug conjugates (ApDC) that can specifically bind to a broad spectrum of targets, including diseased cells. Accordingly, the application of aptamers in targeted drug delivery has attracted broad interest due to their impressive selectivity and affinity, low immunogenicity, easy synthesis with high reproducibility, facile modification, and relatively rapid tissue penetration with no toxicity. Functionally, aptamers themselves can be used as macromolecular drugs, and they are also commonly used in biomarker discovery and targeted drug delivery. In this review, we will highlight the most recent advances in the development of aptamers and aptamer conjugates, and discuss their potential in targeted therapy. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2017, 9:e1438. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1438. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1438
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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