Responsive polymers as smart nanomaterials enable diverse applications

Jing Zhao, Victoria E. Lee, Rui Liu, Rodney D. Priestley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Responsive polymers undergo reversible or irreversible physical or chemical modifications in response to a change in environment or stimulus, e.g., temperature, pH, light, and magnetic or electric fields. Polymeric nanoparticles (NPs), which constitute a diverse set of morphologies, including micelles, vesicles, and core-shell geometries, have been successfully prepared from responsive polymers and have shown great promise in applications ranging from drug delivery to catalysis. In this review, we summarize pH, thermo-, photo-, and enzymatic responsiveness for a selection of polymers. We then discuss the formation of NPs made from responsive polymers. Finally, we highlight how NPs and other nanomaterials are enabling a wide range of smart applications with improved efficiency, as well as improved sustainability and recyclability of polymeric systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-382
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
StatePublished - Jun 7 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • Polymeric nanoparticles
  • Self-assembly
  • Smart materials
  • Stimuli-responsive polymers


Dive into the research topics of 'Responsive polymers as smart nanomaterials enable diverse applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this