Purpose To investigate the properties of phenylboronic acid-functional poly(amido amine) polymers (BA-PAA) in forming multilayered thin films with poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and chondroitin sulfate (ChS), and to evaluate their compatibility with COS-7 cells. Methods Copolymers of phenylboronic acid-functional poly(amido amine)s, differing in the content of primary amine (DAB-BA-PAA) or alcohol (ABOL-BA-PAA) side groups, were synthesized and applied in the formation of multilayers with PVA and ChS. Biocompatibility of the resulting films was evaluated through cell culture experiments with COS-7 cells grown on the films. Results PVA-based multilayers were thin, reaching ~100 nm at 10 bilayers, whereas ChS-based multilayers were thick, reaching ~600 nm at the same number of bilayers. All of the multilayers are stable under physiological conditions in vitro and are responsive to reducing agents, owing to the presence of disulfide bonds in the polymers. PVA-based films were demonstrated to be responsive to glucose at physiological pH at the investigated glucose concentrations (10–100 mM). The multilayered films displayed biocompatibility in cell culture experiments, promoting attachment and proliferation of COS-7 cells. Conclusions Responsive thin films based on boronic acid functional poly(amido amine)s are promising biocompatible materials for biomedical applications, such as drug releasing surfaces on stents or implants.