Aptamers are a group of molecules, which can specifically bind, track, and inhibit target molecules, comprising DNA aptamers, RNA aptamers, and peptide aptamers. So far, there are much progress about developing novel aptamers and their expansile applications. This prospect systematically introduces the composition and technological evolution of aptamers, and then focuses on the application of aptamers in cancer diagnosis, imaging, and therapy. Following this, we discuss the potential to harness aptamers in discovering the biomarker of stem cells, which is favorable for us to study the normal developmental or abnormal pathological process of tissue and to deliver drugs into target cells or tissues in the future. J. Cell. Biochem. 114: 250–255, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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