Aptamers are short, single-stranded nucleic acids that fold into well-defined three dimensional (3D) structures that allow for binding to a target molecule with affinities and specificities that can rival or in some cases exceed those of antibodies. The compatibility of aptamers with nanostructures such as thin films, in combination with their affinity, selectivity, and conformational changes upon target interaction, could set the foundation for the development of novel smart materials. In this study, the development of a biocompatible aptamer-polyelectrolyte film system was investigated using a layer-by-layer approach. Using fluorescence microscopy, we demonstrated the ability of the sulforhodamine B aptamer to bind its cognate target while sequestered in a chitosan-hyaluronan film matrix. Studies using Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometry also suggest that deposition conditions such as rinsing time and volume play a strong role in the internal film interactions and growth mechanisms of chitosan-hyaluronan films. The continued study and development of aptamer-functionalized thin films provides endless new opportunities for novel smart materials and has the potential to revolutionize the field of controlled release.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Aptamer, Chitosan, Exponential growth, Hyaluronan, Layer-by-layer, Linear growth, Polyelectrolyte, Sulforhodamine B
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym6051631
Journal Polymers
DeRosa, M.C, & Foster, Amanda. (2014). Development of a Biocompatible Layer-by-Layer Film System Using Aptamer Technology for Smart Material Applications. Polymers, 6(5), 1631–1654. doi:10.3390/polym6051631