Analytical strategy for studying the formation and stability of multilayered films containing gold nanoparticles


The design of layer-by-layer (LbL) polyelectrolyte films including nanoparticles is a growing field of innovation in a wide range of biomedical applications. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are very attractive for further biomolecule coupling to induce a pharmacological effect. Nanostructured LbL films coupled with such metallic species show properties that depend on the conditions of construction, i.e. the polymer nature and dissolution buffer. Tripartite LbL films (polycation, AuNP, and polyanion) were evaluated using two different polycationic polymers (poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH), poly(ethylene imine) (PEI)) and various medium conditions (salts, i.e. phosphate, Tris or Tris-NaCl buffers, and concentration). AuNP incorporation and film stability were analysed by visible spectrophotometry, capillary zone electrophoresis, a quartz crystal microbalance, and high-performance liquid chromatography. The ideal compromise between AuNP loading and film stability was obtained using PAH prepared in Tris-NaCl buffer (0.01–0.15 M). This condition allowed the formation of a LbL film that was more stable than the film with PEI and provided an AuNP quantity that was 4.8 times greater than that of the PAH-PBS-built film. In conclusion, this work presents an analytical strategy for the characterization of nanostructured multilayer films and optimization of LbL films enriched with AuNPs to design biomedical device coatings.

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The authors would like to thank Aurélien Renaudin and Valentin Philippe from Université de Lorraine for their help with CZE and HPLC and Bernard Senger from INSERM U1121 for his help with the interpretation of the QCM data. The authors also acknowledge “Region Grand Est” for financial support.

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Correspondence to Ariane Boudier.

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Pallotta, A., Clarot, I., Beurton, J. et al. Analytical strategy for studying the formation and stability of multilayered films containing gold nanoparticles. Anal Bioanal Chem 413, 1473–1483 (2021).

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  • Polyelectrolyte films
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Film stability
  • Nanoparticle loading
  • Dynamic models
  • Physicochemical evaluation