Custom RNA Aptamer Synthesis

What are RNA Aptamers?

RNA aptamers are defined as RNA oligonucleotides that bind to a specific target with high affinity and specificity, similar to how antibodies bind to antigens. Compared to DNA aptamers, RNA aptamers form more diverse and complex three-dimensional structures, resulting in a greater number of conformations. While RNA aptamers with the same number of oligonucleotides may form smaller structures than DNA aptamers, researchers have developed aptamers that can penetrate tissues and cells using RNA.

Preparation of RNA aptamer. Fig 1. Preparation of RNA aptamer. (Zhou et al., 2012)

Custom Synthesis of RNA Aptamers from BOC Sciences

Because RNA aptamer performance is optimal under select conditions, we recommend that you consider a custom development program for any specialized assay or conditions of use. Below is our RNA Aptamer development process, describing the key features of each stage.

  • Consultation of RNA Aptamer

Every base pair RNA Aptamer discovery project begins with an in-depth customer conversation to give our scientists a clear understanding of your needs. Such dialog is often supported by mutual confidentiality agreements.

  • Design of RNA Aptamer

(1) Library Selection: BOC Sciences selects or designs a library of aptamer candidate compounds for use in this program. This library has a higher affinity for certain protein-based or relatively hydrophobic targets and increases conformational diversity. Alternatively, it may be a highly customized library with additional features such as specific conformational changes that occur upon binding, revelation or protection of key sequences, and the addition of special chemical groups to provide a higher level of target specificity or affinity.

(2) SELEX Design: BOC Sciences designs the selection process, including selection conditions, expected number of SELEX rounds, concentration of buffer or other solution to be used as a selection matrix, immobilization methods and surfaces, and timing of each step. Negative targets are identified and the number of rounds in which they will be used is determined.

(3) Screening Assays and Functional Tests: Design screening assays utilizing our scientific team's years of experience in assay development. Create functional performance tests to evaluate aptamer function in the final application.

  • SELEX of RNA Aptamer

During this process, the aptamer candidate library will be reduced from ~1015 sequences to ~106 candidate sequences. If your project has negative targets, the library will be cleared of aptamers that bind to those targets before or during SELEX.

At the end of this phase, BOC Sciences will perform next-generation sequencing and use its proprietary bioinformatics approach to select a subset of the enriched candidate library for further analysis at a later stage of the project.

  • Screening of RNA Aptamer

At this stage, BOC Sciences performs several types of high-throughput screening to narrow down the best candidates. Such tests are customized for your specific project, depending on the type of target and the end use of your desired aptamer.

  • Application Testing of RNA Aptamer

BOC Sciences will perform application-specific testing to identify the best candidates to offer you for evaluation. We can design and develop enzyme-linked aptamer adsorbent assays, fluorescent microplate assays, microscopy assays, flow cytometry assays, lateral flow assays, redox sensor assays, and more.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to learn more about your current project in order to design and propose an RNA Aptamer-based solution for you.


  1. Zhou J, et al. Current progress of RNA aptamer-based therapeutics[J]. Frontiers in genetics, 2012, 3: 234.
* Only for research. Not suitable for any diagnostic or therapeutic use.
Online Inquiry
Verification code
Event information
Inquiry Basket