Stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles biomedical applications
Stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles have recently gained tremendous attention, in particular in the field of controlled drug delivery as a result of offering prolonged circulation times and on demand delivery. The tailor-made design of stimuli-responsive nanoparticles mostly relies on the incorporation of desired stimuli-responsive motifs into the polymers. However, the challenge is to synthesize the corresponding polymers in a well-defined and reproducible way. In the context of the synthesis of stimuli-responsive polymers, the reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization process is advantageous compared to other techniques due to its high tolerance to various functional groups and polymerization conditions. After the synthesis of the stimuli responsive polymers, it is also crucial to formulate the resulting stimuli-responsive nanoparticles in a controlled way. Nanoprecipitation represents a facile and reliable way to produce polymeric nanoparticles. As a result, the RAFT polymerization process and the nanoprecipitation technique were selected as the methods of choice within this thesis for the synthesis of (multi)functional polymers and the formation of the corresponding nanoparticles. The presented thesis represents an overview of (i) the synthesis of various new stimuli-responsive polymers with tailor-made functionalities and polymer structures, (ii) the formulation of stimuli-responsive nanoparticles via nanoprecipitation, (iii) the investigation of stimuli-responsive behavior of the nanoparticles, as well as (iv) the evaluation of synthesized nanoparticles for drug delivery applications.
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