Layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly is a self-assembly technique used to develop multilayer films based on complementary interactions between film components. These multilayer films have had a significant impact on the fields of cellular and tissue engineering. The aim of cellular engineering is to understand and control cell behavior, which not only impacts applications in regenerative medicine but also other biomedical therapies that rely on cell interactions with biomaterials, including treatments for autoimmune disorders and cancer. Tissue engineering approaches to tissue repair and regeneration utilize three-dimensional biomaterial scaffolds that interact favorably with cells. Cellular engineering studies can better inform the design of these scaffolds. The ease of tuning the chemical and mechanical properties of LbL films, the ability to coat a variety of medically relevant substrates (including cell culture surfaces and scaffolds), and the wide range of species that can be incorporated into these films (ranging from proteins to small molecules) have led to the successful use of LbL assembly for a variety of cellular and tissue engineering applications. The films used in these biomedical applications can be divided into those that release therapeutics, often with controlled stimuli-responsive release behavior, and those that act without releasing these agents.
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Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.