Bioconjugation is the process of joining of biomolecules to other biomolecules, small molecules, and polymers by chemical or biological means to form a novel complex consisting of both molecules linked together. When forming such bioconjugates, the process can yield a composite having approximately equal proportions of each component or create a conjugate purposely designed to have more molecules of one component than the other. Compounds, natural or synthetic, with their individual activities, can be chemically combined together to create unique characteristics. Modified biomolecules may have diverse utilizations, for example, cellular tracking, enzyme revealing, protein distributions determining, biomarkers imaging, and drugs delivering. The formation of a useful bioconjugate begins by envisioning the features that are desired in the final complex and then choosing the components necessary to create it.
Bioconjugation is a burgeoning field of research. Novel methods for the mild and site-specific derivatization of proteins, DNA, RNA, and carbohydrates have been developed for applications such as ligand discovery, disease diagnosis, and high-throughput screening. These powerful methods owe their existence to the discovery of chemoselective reactions that enable bioconjugation under physiological conditions—a tremendous achievement of modern organic chemistry.