The Importance of Controlled/Living Radical Polymerization Techniques in the Design of Tailor Made Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery Systems

Part of the Advances in Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine book series (APPPM, volume 4)


Recent developments in controlled/living radical polymerization methods (CLRP) have created the opportunity to prepare polymeric based systems with site specific functionality that has significantly expanded the range of physical and chemical properties that can be generated in materials prepared by these systems. For example, CLRP prepared block copolymers can self-assemble into nanoparticles that can be used in drug delivery applications. The development of synthetic procedures for preparation of materials targeting new and more efficient drug delivery systems (DDS) is of great interest since ultimately they can mimic most of the properties of biological systems.

This chapter will initially discuss the key aspects of the development of nanotechnology for drug delivery. The cell internalization process will be described and related with the relevant properties required for the “nanocarrier systems”. Afterwards, a summary of the polymeric systems that can be used for DDS will be provided and the importance of CLRP methods in the preparation of polymer-based systems will be discussed. Finally, mechanisms of block copolymers self-assembly will be discussed and supported with some examples of CLRP-based self-assembly systems for drug delivery applications.


Controlled/living radical polymerization Self-assembly Drug delivery systems Targeting Nanocarriers Treatment tailored to the person 



The authors gratefully acknowledge FP7-Health-2009-2.4.4-2-Project RdCVF for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.GE Power and Water, Water and Process TechnologiesTrevoseUSA
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Chemistry DepartmentUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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