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Solution-based biosensors that utilize aptamers have been engineered in a variety of formats to detect a range of analytes for both medical and environmental applications. However, since aptamers have fixed base sequences, incorporation of aptamers into DNA strand displacement networks for feed-forward signal amplification and processing requires significant redesign of downstream DNA reaction networks. We designed a novel aptamer transduction network that releases customizable output domains, which can then be used to initiate downstream strand displacement reaction networks without any sequence redesign of the downstream reaction networks. In our aptamer transducer (AT), aptamer input domains are independent of output domains within the same DNA complex and are reacted with a fuel strand after aptamer–ligand binding. ATs were designed to react with two fluorescent dye-labeled reporter complexes to show the customizability of the output domains, as well as being used as feed-forward inputs to two previously studied catalytic reaction networks, which can be used as amplifiers. Through our study, we show both successful customizability and feed-forward capability of our ATs.

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This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes. This document was originally published in ACS Omega by the American Chemical Society. Copyright restrictions may apply.