Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Nanoparticles

Macromol Rapid Commun. 2017 Jul;38(13). doi: 10.1002/marc.201700030. Epub 2017 May 12.


There is increasing evidence that stimuli-responsive nanomaterials have become significantly critical components of modern materials design and technological developments. Recent advances in synthesis and fabrication of stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles with built-in stimuli-responsive components (Part A) and surface modifications of functional nanoparticles that facilitate responsiveness (Part B) are outlined here. The synthesis and construction of stimuli-responsive spherical, core-shell, concentric, hollow, Janus, gibbous/inverse gibbous, and cocklebur morphologies are discussed in Part A, with the focus on shape, color, or size changes resulting from external stimuli. Although inorganic/metallic nanoparticles exhibit many useful properties, including thermal or electrical conductivity, catalytic activity, or magnetic properties, their assemblies and formation of higher order constructs are often enhanced by surface modifications. Section B focuses on selected surface reactions that lead to responsiveness achieved by decorating nanoparticles with stimuli-responsive polymers. Although grafting-to and grafting-from dominate these synthetic efforts, there are opportunities for developing novel synthetic approaches facilitating controllable recognition, signaling, or sequential responses. Many nanotechnologies utilize a combination of organic and inorganic phases to produce ceramic or metallic nanoparticles. One can envision the development of new properties by combining inorganic (metals, metal oxides) and organic (polymer) phases into one nanoparticle designated as "ceramers" (inorganics) and "metamers" (metallic).

Keywords: colloids; morphology; nanoparticles; stimuli-responsiveness; surface modification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Inorganic Chemicals / chemistry
  • Metals / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures
  • Nanotechnology
  • Polymers / chemistry*


  • Inorganic Chemicals
  • Metals
  • Polymers