Single-component layer-by-layer weak polyelectrolyte films and capsules: Loading and release of functional molecules Academic Article uri icon


  • Poly(carboxylic acid) hydrogel films and hollow capsules undergo reversible size changes in response to variations in pH and/or ionic strength. The films and capsules were obtained from hydrogenbonded poly-N-vinylpyrrolidone/ poly(carboxylic acid) layer-by-layer films by chemical crosslinking of the polyacid, followed by pH-induced removal of poly-N-vinylpyrrolidone. Surface-attached hydrogel films present attractive matrices for reversible pH-stimulated loading and/or controlled release of large amounts of synthetic or natural macromolecules including proteins. By varying acidity of poly(carboxylic acids), the hydrogel swelling and the corresponding values of pH for encapsulation/release of functional molecules could be tuned in a wide range from pH 5 to 10. In addition, the capsules are capable of entrapping macromolecules by "locking" the capsule wall with an electrostatically associating polycation, followed by the release of the encapsulated macromolecules at high salt concentrations. © 2009 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kozlovskaya, V. A., Kharlampieva, E. P., Erel-Unal, I., & Sukhishvili, S. A.

citation count

  • 14

publication date

  • June 2009