Inherent charge-shifting polyelectrolyte multilayer blends: a facile route for tunable protein release from surfaces

Biomacromolecules. 2011 Aug 8;12(8):2975-81. doi: 10.1021/bm200566k. Epub 2011 Jul 7.


Recent research has highlighted degradable multilayer films that enable the programmed release of different therapeutics. Multilayers constructed by the layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition that can undergo disassembly have been demonstrated to be of considerable interest, particularly for biomedical surface coatings due to their versatility and mild aqueous processing conditions, enabling the inclusion of biologic drugs with high activity. In this study, we examine the controlled release of a protein using a different mechanism for film disassembly, the gradual dissociation of film interactions under release conditions. Poly(β-amino ester)s and poly(L-lysine) (PLL) were used as the positively charged multilayer components coassembled with a model negatively charged antigen protein, ovalbumin (Ova). The release of the protein from these multilayer films is dominated by the slow shift in the charge of components under physiological pH conditions rather than by hydrolytic degradative release. The time scale of release can be varied over almost 2 orders of magnitude by varying the ratio of the two polyamines in the deposition solution. The highly versatile and tunable properties of these films form a basis for designing controlled and sequential delivery of drug coatings using a variety of polyions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Carriers
  • Electrolytes / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Ovalbumin / chemistry*


  • Drug Carriers
  • Electrolytes
  • Ovalbumin