​The ability to synthesize anisotropic colloidally stable nanoparticles directly in water with complex shapes provides new materials for drug delivery, imaging, diagnostics, optical and electrical applications. Recently, we demonstrated a water-based emulsion polymerization method (i.e. the temperature directed morphology transformation, TDMT, method[12-14]) to produce tadpole nanostructures directly in water facilitated by a thermoresponsive block when combined with the solvent swelling-induced technique. Our TDMT method reproducibly produced these well-defined, uniform, and functional tadpole nanostructures directly in water, an environmentally friendly solvent, for potential use in biomedical applications and a synthetic procedure amenable to made at scale. We further demonstrated, for example, that Dox-functional tadpoles (prodrug delivery system) had enhanced cell entry into triple negative breast cancer cells with a significant decrease in the IC50.

Designing polymer nanoparticles with dynamic features would be interesting in a number of applications where in situ nanoscale structural changes could be used for delivery of drugs, induce signaling on or within cells, or provide a diagnostic signal when small changes in temperature occur. 

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