Aptamers are short, single stranded nucleic acids that fold into well-defined 3D structures which bind to a single target molecule with affinities and specificities that can rival antibodies. The compatibility of aptamers with nanostructures such as thin films, in combination with their inherent properties could set the foundation for the development of smart materials. This research will focus on development of a biocompatible aptamer-polyelectrolyte film system for use in controlled-release applications. We demonstrated the ability of the sulforhodamine B aptamer to function while
sequestered in a chitosan-hyaluronan film matrix. Our results also suggest that deposition conditions play a strong role in the internal film interactions and growth mechanism. As a secondary objective, the protective role of the polyelectrolytes against nuclease-mediated aptamer degradation was investigated. This research has the potential to revolutionize materials used in controlled-release platforms with possible application to fertilizer systems which will be discussed.