Aptamers are short, single-stranded oligonucleotides that bind to specific target molecules. The shape-forming feature of single-stranded oligonucleotides provides high affinity and excellent specificity toward targets. Hence, aptamers can be used as analogs of antibodies. In December 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first aptamer-based therapeutic, pegaptanib (Macugen), targeting vascular endothelial growth factor, for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Since then, however, no aptamer medication for public health has appeared. During these relatively silent years, many trials and improvements of aptamer therapeutics have been performed, opening multiple novel directions for the therapeutic application of aptamers. This review summarizes the basic characteristics of aptamers and the chemical modifications available for aptamer therapeutics.