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Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Molecular Recognition Elements (MREs) are compounds capable of binding a variety of inorganic and biological molecules. These MREs have a variety of applications including incorporation into biosensors, drug discovery, diagnostic testing, and therapeutics. MREs are evolved via a generalized process known as the Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment, or SELEX. Traditional SELEX techniques have limited the variety MREs which can be derived for a given target, and can take several days to complete. Capillary Electrophoresis has emerged as an alternative method for evolution of MREs. It allows for evolution of MREs with increased affinity for a given target in significantly fewer rounds of selection. In addition, a range of capillary electrophoresis binding assays have been developed which can very accurately determine dissociation constant values for MRE/target complexes. Capillary electrophoresis has greatly influenced both evolution and characterization of MREs over the past decade. It will likely continue to facilitate the development of MREs for applications which were previously inconceivable using traditional SELEX techniques.

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