Shaping the future of nanomedicine: Anisotropy in polymeric nanoparticle design

Randall A. Meyer, Jordan J. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Nanofabrication and biomedical applications of polymeric nanoparticles have become important areas of research. Biocompatible polymeric nanoparticles have been investigated for their use as delivery vehicles for therapeutic and diagnostic agents. Although polymeric nanoconstructs have traditionally been fabricated as isotropic spheres, anisotropic, nonspherical nanoparticles have gained interest in the biomaterials community owing to their unique interactions with biological systems. Polymeric nanoparticles with different forms of anisotropy have been manufactured using a variety of novel methods in recent years. In addition, they have enhanced physical, chemical, and biological properties compared with spherical nanoparticles, including increased targeting avidity and decreased nonspecific in vivo clearance. With these desirable properties, anisotropic nanoparticles have been successfully utilized in many biomedical settings and have performed superiorly to analogous spherical nanoparticles. We summarize the current state-of-the-art fabrication methods for anisotropic polymeric nanoparticles including top-down, bottom-up, and microfluidic design approaches. We also summarize the current and potential future applications of these nanoparticles, including drug delivery, biological targeting, immunoengineering, and tissue engineering. Ongoing research into the properties and utility of anisotropic polymeric nanoparticles will prove critical to realizing their potential in nanomedicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-207
Number of pages17
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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