Skip to main content
Skip to main menu


Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) for Rapid Aptamer Selection

Kingsley Bimpeh, speaker
Kingsley Bimpeh
Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry
University of Georgia
Chemistry Building, Room 400
Analytical Seminar

Aptamers are ribonucleic acids (RNA) or single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules that demonstrate high affinity and specificity for a wide range of targets.  These molecules possess several advantages such as good tissue penetration and are easily modified for increased stability and combination therapy.  Consequently, aptamers are used as drugs and diagnostic tools. Bioimaging, analytical reagents, and toxin/hazardous chemical detection are only a few of the other applications of aptamers.

Despite the wide application of aptamers, they are identified through an iterative process termed SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential enrichment).  The SELEX process is used to select aptamers from a large oligonucleotide library with high specificity for targets. Conventional SELEX uses affinity chromatography and filtration methods to separate desired nucleotide sequences from unwanted ones. However, this is difficult, takes time, and is prone to biases. Recently, there has been an increased adaptation of Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) for selecting aptamers known as CE-SELEX. In CE-SELEX, bound nucleic acids undergo a mobility shift and migrate differently from the unbound sequences, allowing them to be collected at different fractions. High resolving power combined with the flexibility of CE, significantly reduces the selection time of SELEX from weeks to days.  This seminar will discuss details of the conventional SELEX mechanism and highlight the analytical mechanism, instrumentation, and data collection in CE that pertains to aptamer selection.

Selected Literature

1. Mendonsa, S. D.; Bowser, M. T., In Vitro Selection of High-Affinity DNA Ligands for Human IgE Using Capillary Electrophoresis. Analytical Chemistry 2004, 76 (18), 5387-5392.

2. Yang, J.; Bowser, M. T., Capillary Electrophoresis–SELEX Selection of Catalytic DNA Aptamers for a Small-Molecule Porphyrin Target. Analytical Chemistry 2013, 85 (3), 1525-1530.

3. Boussebayle, A.;  Groher, F.; Suess, B., RNA-based Capture-SELEX for the selection of small molecule-binding aptamers. Methods 2019, 161, 10-15.

4. Rodriguez, E. L.;  Poddar, S.;  Iftekhar, S.;  Suh, K.;  Woolfork, A. G.;  Ovbude, S.;  Pekarek, A.;  Walters, M.;  Lott, S.; Hage, D. S., Affinity chromatography: A review of trends and developments over the past 50 years. Journal of Chromatography B 2020, 1157, 122332.

5. Harstad, R. K.;  Johnson, A. C.;  Weisenberger, M. M.; Bowser, M. T., Capillary Electrophoresis. Analytical Chemistry 2016, 88 (1), 299-319.

Support Us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.

Got More Questions?

Undergraduate inquiries: 

Registration and credit

AP Credit, Section Changes, Overrides,

Graduate inquiries:

Contact Us!

Assistant to the Department Head: Donna Spotts, 706-542-1919 

Main office phone: 706-542-1919 

Fax: 706-542-9454

Head of the Department: Prof. Gary Douberly