Emerging trend in nano-engineered polyelectrolyte-based surrogate carriers for delivery of bioactives.
Adhesion of PAH/PSS and PDADMAC/PSS capsules through electrostatic and specific interactions has been investigated using reflective interference contrast microscopy (RICM). Adhesion of capsules via electrostatic interactions was found to be spontaneous and strong. Capsules functionalized with poly(l-lysine)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLL-g-PEG) did not exhibit significant adhesion (as determined by the adhesion area) to streptavidin-coated substrates, whereas capsules functionalized with biotinylated PLL-g-PEG showed a significantly larger adhesion area. Using continuum mechanical models, the total adhesion energies for these cases were calculated and were found to correspond to several tens of individual biotin-streptavidin pairs. The application of specific interactions such as the biotin-streptavidin system for controlled capsule adhesion has been demonstrated in this study.