Progress in the isolation of aptamers to light-up dyes and the applications
Light-up small molecule fluorescent dyes play an important role in modern analytical techniques, and can be widely applied in biochemistry and biomedicine. Aptamers are a type of single-stranded ribonucleic acids or deoxyribonucleic acids, which have a high affinity for, and can selectively bind to, a specific target, including ions, small molecules, cells, etc. Aptamers are selected in vitro using a process termed SELEX. Light-up dyes have excellent fluorogenic behavior because, although their baseline fluorescence is very low, their fluorescence quantum yield dramatically increases when they bind with a specific aptamer. Aptamer-dye pairs have been used in biological imaging and chemical analysis because of their numerous advantages, including their low-cost, small size, easy modification, stability, and low immunogenicity. This paper reviews the progress that has been made in the selection of aptamers for the light-up dyes and the applications of aptamer-based light-up dyes.