The discovery that synthetic short chain nucleic acids are capable of selective binding to biological targets has made them to be widely used as molecular recognition elements. These nucleic acids, called aptamers, are comprised of two types, DNA and RNA aptamers, where the DNA aptamer is preferred over the latter due to its stability, making it widely used in a number of applications. However, the success of the DNA selection process through Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (SELEX) experiments is very much dependent on its most critical step, which is the conversion of the dsDNA to ssDNA. There is a plethora of methods available in generating ssDNA from the corresponding dsDNA. These include asymmetric PCR, biotin-streptavidin separation, lambda exonuclease digestion and size separation on denaturing-urea PAGE. Herein, different methods of ssDNA generation following the PCR amplification step in SELEX are reviewed.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.