• biopolymers and renewable polymers;
  • colloids;
  • lipids;
  • adsorption;
  • coatings


An interfacial engineering technology, based on the electrostatic deposition of charged polyelectrolytes onto surfaces of oppositely charged templates is reviewed with an emphasis on practical applications in the food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries. On interfaces of disperse systems consecutively deposited polymers provide major advantages in terms of physical and chemical stability of dispersions against superimposed stresses (pH, temperature, ionic strength, freezing, chilling, dehydration, lipid oxidation). The controlled deposition of multiple layers allows for a controlled and triggered release of incorporated functional components. This review highlights the basic principles of the layer-by-layer (LbL) electrostatic deposition method as well as some major advantages and drawbacks of this approach. An overview of several systems that can be used as templates for the deposition including emulsion droplets, liposomal vehicles, colloidal aggregates, and planar surfaces is given. Suitable substrates for the deposition are presented with a focus on charged biopolymers such as proteins or polysaccharides since they play an essential role in the formulation and stabilization of food, pharmaceutical and personal care applications. Issues and difficulties associated with implementing the technology on a larger, industrial scale are discussed. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40099.