Biocompatibility and high loading capacity of mesoporous CaCO3 vaterite crystals give an option to utilize the polycrystals for a wide range of (bio)applications. Formation and transformations of calcium carbonate polymorphs have been studied for decades, aimed at both basic and applied research interests. Here, composite multilayer-coated calcium carbonate polycrystals containing Fe3O4 magnetite nanoparticles and model protein lysozyme are fabricated. The structure of the composite polycrystals and vaterite → calcite recrystallization kinetics are studied. The recrystallization results in release of both loaded protein and Fe3O4 nanoparticles (magnetic manipulation is thus lost). Fe3O4 nanoparticles enhance the recrystallization that can be induced by reduction of the local pH with citric acid and reduction of the polycrystal crystallinity. Oppositely, the layer-by-layer assembled poly(allylamine hydrochloride)/poly(sodium styrenesulfonate) polyelectrolyte coating significantly inhibits the vaterite → calcite recrystallization (from hours to days) most likely due to suppression of the ion exchange giving an option to easily tune the release kinetics for a wide time scale, for example, for prolonged release. Moreover, the recrystallization of the coated crystals results in formulation of multilayer capsules keeping the feature of external manipulation. This study can help to design multifunctional microstructures with tailor-made characteristics for loading and controlled release as well as for external manipulation.
- calcium carbonate crystals
- layer-by-layer assembly
- magnetite nanoparticles
- vaterite → calcite recrystallization