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Selecting And Designing Polymers Suitable For Nanoparticle Manufacturing

S. Cammas-Marion
Published 2016 · Materials Science

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Man has always tried to use the materials around him to construct more and more complex objects for its everyday use, with a particular attention to materials which can be used to treat diseases and/or injuries. With the technological progress and the apparition of macromolecular materials, the objects available to treat the human body improved. Polymers, considered to be powerful building blocks, attracted and continue to attract a lot of attention from researchers, especially from those working in the biomedical and therapeutic domains. Moreover, the advances in medical knowledge about diseases, such as the different types of cancer, lead to the development of very specific and complex materials, elaborated specifically for the biomedical and therapeutic fields. Therefore, the macromolecular chemist plays a crucial role in the design of such complex polymer structures obtained by polymerization and/or copolymerization of functional monomers, as well as by chemical modification of natural or synthetic polymers . To illustrate the complexity in the design of polymers suitable for manufacturing nanoparticles , several examples of degradable or fragmentable (co)polymers , specifically designed for application as degradable nanocarriers, are given. These macromolecular materials are synthesized, either by chemical modification of natural or synthetic polymers using classical chemical reactions known in organic chemistry, or by (co)polymerization of functional monomers using the (co)polymerization techniques known for classical polymer synthesis (radical polymerization, ring-opening polymerization , etc.). The polymers’ composition are explained in correlation with the factors influencing the degradation rate of the corresponding nanovectors, such as the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance of the macromolecular materials and the degradation mechanisms (when known).
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