Emerging applications of stimuli-responsive polymer materials

Nat Mater. 2010 Feb;9(2):101-13. doi: 10.1038/nmat2614. Epub 2010 Jan 22.


Responsive polymer materials can adapt to surrounding environments, regulate transport of ions and molecules, change wettability and adhesion of different species on external stimuli, or convert chemical and biochemical signals into optical, electrical, thermal and mechanical signals, and vice versa. These materials are playing an increasingly important part in a diverse range of applications, such as drug delivery, diagnostics, tissue engineering and 'smart' optical systems, as well as biosensors, microelectromechanical systems, coatings and textiles. We review recent advances and challenges in the developments towards applications of stimuli-responsive polymeric materials that are self-assembled from nanostructured building blocks. We also provide a critical outline of emerging developments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry
  • Drug Carriers / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Polymers* / chemistry
  • Polymers* / metabolism
  • Surface Properties


  • Drug Carriers
  • Polymers