Molecular Aptamer Beacons and Their Applications in Sensing, Imaging, and Diagnostics

Angeliki Moutsiopoulou, David Broyles, Emre Dikici, Sylvia Daunert, Sapna K. Deo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The ability to monitor types, concentrations, and activities of different biomolecules is essential to obtain information about the molecular processes within cells. Successful monitoring requires a sensitive and selective tool that can respond to these molecular changes. Molecular aptamer beacon (MAB) is a molecular imaging and detection tool that enables visualization of small or large molecules by combining the selectivity and sensitivity of molecular beacon and aptamer technologies. MAB design leverages structure switching and specific recognition to yield an optical on/off switch in the presence of the target. Various donor–quencher pairs such as fluorescent dyes, quantum dots, carbon-based materials, and metallic nanoparticles have been employed in the design of MABs. In this work, the diverse biomedical applications of MAB technology are focused on. Different conjugation strategies for the energy donor–acceptor pairs are addressed, and the overall sensitivities of each detection system are discussed. The future potential of this technology in the fields of biomedical research and diagnostics is also highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1902248
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • detection systems
  • imaging
  • molecular aptamer beacons
  • molecular probes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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