Cytotoxicity control of SiC nanoparticles introduced into polyelectrolyte multilayer films
Nowadays, biosensor technology development is directed toward improvement of sensing devices' biocompatibility. Polyelectrolyte multilayer films (PEMs) consisting of natural polymers seem to be appropriate for electrode coverage and localization of semiconducting nanoparticles in order to create controllable polymer–nanoparticles tridimensional networks. However, control of nanoparticles' release from films and in a consequence their cytotoxicity is still a challenge. In this study we demonstrated that the cytotoxic effect of silicon carbide (SiC) nanoparticles introduced by the plasma activated chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) method into poly-L-lysine/hyaluronic acid (PLL/HA) or poly-L-lysine/alginate acid (PLL/ALG) films could be controlled by chemical cross-linking of the polyelectrolyte film. Herein, we tested two types of cross-linkers N-hydrosulfosuccinimide/1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylamino-propyl)carbodiimide (NHS/EDC) and genipin reagent. Analysis of nanoparticle distribution by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has shown conglomerate formation in each film type. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) images indicated a cubic structure of SiC and localization of nanoparticles in the polymer coating. Among the tested cross-linkers, either NHS/EDC or genipin seem to be suitable for control of nanocomposite properties due to low cytotoxicity and an effective stabilization of the polymer–nanoparticle interaction, resulting in a lower release rate of nanoparticles from the films.