Stimuli-responsive nanocarriers for drug delivery

Nat Mater. 2013 Nov;12(11):991-1003. doi: 10.1038/nmat3776.


Spurred by recent progress in materials chemistry and drug delivery, stimuli-responsive devices that deliver a drug in spatial-, temporal- and dosage-controlled fashions have become possible. Implementation of such devices requires the use of biocompatible materials that are susceptible to a specific physical incitement or that, in response to a specific stimulus, undergo a protonation, a hydrolytic cleavage or a (supra)molecular conformational change. In this Review, we discuss recent advances in the design of nanoscale stimuli-responsive systems that are able to control drug biodistribution in response to specific stimuli, either exogenous (variations in temperature, magnetic field, ultrasound intensity, light or electric pulses) or endogenous (changes in pH, enzyme concentration or redox gradients).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Carriers* / chemistry
  • Drug Carriers* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nanostructures* / chemistry
  • Nanotechnology


  • Drug Carriers