Nanoscale materials are used in the biomedical field for magnetic resonance imaging, protein detection and drug/gene delivery. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are particularly investigated in cancer treatment and imaging. In this study, we described a simple and reliable liquid method to coat AuNPs (diameter: 21 nm) layer-by-layer with alternative cationic polyallylamine and anionic polystyrenesulfonate. The C-terminal amino acid of the antibody directed against anti-bovine serum albumin was activated by EDC/NHS, and then condensed with the amino functions of the external polyallylamine layer. An ELISA test confirmed that the antigen recognition of the bioconjugate antibody was conserved. This AuNP coating and the covalently coupling could be used as a generic process for binding other specific antibodies, particularly those overexpressed in cancer cells and angiogenesis. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.