Nature continues to be the ultimate in nanotechnology, where polymeric nanometer-scale architectures play a central role in biological systems. Inspired by the way nature forms functional supramolecular assemblies, researchers are trying to make nanostructures and to incorporate these into macrostructures as nature does. Recent advances and progress in nanoscience have demonstrated the great potential that nanomaterials have for applications in healthcare. In the realm of drug delivery, nanomaterials have been used in vivo to protect the drug entity in the systemic circulation, ensuring reproducible absorption of bioactive molecules that do not naturally penetrate biological barriers, restricting drug access to specific target sites. Several building blocks have been used in the formulation of nanoparticles. Thus, stability, drug release, and targeting can be tailored by surface modification. Herein the state of the art of stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles are reviewed. Such systems are able to control drug release by reacting to naturally occurring or external applied stimuli. Special attention is paid to the design and nanoparticle formulation of these so-called smart drug-delivery systems. Future strategies for further developments of a promising controlled drug delivery responsive system are also outlined.
Anselmo, A. C., & Mitragotri, S. (2016). Nanoparticles in the clinic. Bioengineering & Translational Medicine, 1(1), 10–29. https://doi.org/10.1002/btm2.10003