Polyelectrolyte multilayer films have been well characterized for almost two decades and there is now a growing interest for the development of biomimetic films that could be used in vitro or in vivo to control cellular behaviors. In this review, the important properties of multilayer films designed for cell/surface interactions will be highlighted. The first part will deal with the physico-chemical properties of polypeptide and polysaccharide multilayer films, including their growth, swellability, stability and mechanical properties. In the second part, we will focus on important properties influencing cellular behaviors: i) film biodegradability, ii) film mechanical properties, iii) film bioactivity achieved by either the intrinsic properties of the film components or the insertion of small peptides, proteins, or DNA. In particular, films thicker than one micron are particularly well suited for loading bioactive molecules due to their reservoir capacities.
Keywords: Layer-by-layer, polysaccharides, biopolymers, bioactivity, cellular processes, adhesion, biodegradability, drug release
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