PH- and sugar-sensitive layer-by-layer films and microcapsules for drug delivery

Katsuhiko Sato, Kentaro Yoshida, Shigehiro Takahashi, Jun ichi Anzai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

171 Citations (Scopus)


The present review provides an overview on the recent progress in the development of pH- and sugar-sensitive layer-by-layer (LbL) thin films and microcapsules in relation to their potential applications in drug delivery. pH-sensitive LbL films and microcapsules have been studied for the development of peptide and protein drug delivery systems to the gastrointestinal tract, anti-cancer drugs to tumor cells, anti-inflammatory drugs to inflamed tissues, and the intracellular delivery of DNA, where pH is shifted from neutral to acidic. pH-induced decomposition or permeability changes of LbL films and microcapsules form the basis for the pH-sensitive release of drugs. Sugar-sensitive LbL films and microcapsules have been studied mainly for the development of an artificial pancreas that can release insulin in response to the presence of glucose. Therefore, glucose oxidase, lectin, and phenylboronic acid have been used for the construction of glucose-sensitive LbL films and microcapsules. LbL film-coated islet cells are also candidates for an artificial pancreas. An artificial pancreas would make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life of diabetic patients by replacing repeated subcutaneous insulin injections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-821
Number of pages13
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 14


  • Drug delivery
  • Insulin release
  • LbL film
  • LbL microcapsule
  • PH-sensitive release
  • Sugar-sensitive release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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