The layer-by-layer adsorption technique based on the consecutive deposition of oppositely charged species is suitable for the preparation of protein multilayers with fully electro-active protein molecules. The methodology was established with cytochrome c and the polyelectrolyte sulfonated polyaniline (PASA). The technique is also useful for the construction of bi-protein architectures confining protein–protein communication to an electrode. Following natural examples of protein complexes with defined signal transfer, cytochrome c was arranged with enzymes such as xanthine oxidase, bilirubin oxidase, laccase, and sulfite oxidase in self-assembled multilayer architectures. Thus, biomimetic signal chains from the enzyme substrate via the enzyme and cytochrome c towards the electrode can be established. Communication between proteins immobilised in multiple layers on the electrode can be achieved by in situ generation of small shuttle molecules or more advantageously by direct interprotein electron transfer. This allows the construction of new sensing electrodes, the properties of which can be tuned by the number of deposited protein layers. The mechanism of electron transfer within such protein assemblies on gold electrodes will be discussed.
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