Layer-by-layer engineering of biocompatible, decomposable core-shell structures

Dinesh B. Shenoy, Alexei A. Antipov, Gleb B. Sukhorukov, Helmuth Möhwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of the present investigation was to fabricate composite colloidal particles consisting of a sacrificial, decomposable template of biodegradable nature covered with biocompatible polyelectrolyte multilayers using the layer-by-layer sequential adsorption technique. Poly-DL-lactic acid and poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) were chosen to design the microparticulate template, and a preliminary feasibility study was carried out with poly(styrene sulfonate sodium)-poly(allylamine hydrochloride) as shell components. The properties of both core-shell and hollow structures obtained by core dissolution were characterized by confocal laser scanning microscopy, microelectrophoresis, scanning force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The concept was then extended to biocompatible polyelectrolytes as shell wall building blocks to deduce stable hollow capsules with tailored properties. Uniform, complete coating with oppositely charged polyelectrolyte pairs was achieved for all the combinations investigated. The results demonstrate that polyester microparticles could serve as viable alternative components to conventionally employed templates to derive hollow capsules with defined size, shape, and shell thickness. With all the components used for fabrication being biocompatible, these polyelectrolyte capsules may find interesting applications in the fields of biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, and drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


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