(Bio)degradable and Biocompatible Nano-Objects from Polymerization-Induced and Crystallization-Driven Self-Assembly



Polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) and crystallization-driven self-assembly (CDSA) techniques have emerged as powerful approaches to produce a broad range of advanced synthetic nano-objects with high potential in biomedical applications. PISA produces nano-objects of different morphologies (e.g., spheres, vesicles and worms), with high solids content (~10–50 wt.%) and without additional surfactant. CDSA can finely control the self-assembly of block copolymers and readily forms non-spherical crystalline nano-objects and more complex, hierarchical assemblies, with spatial and dimensional control over particle length or surface area, which is typically difficult to achieve by PISA. Considering the importance of these two polymerization processes in the current scientific landscape of block copolymer self-assembly and the craze for their use in the biomedical field, this review will focus on the advances in PISA and CDSA to produce nano-objects suitable for biomedical applications in terms of (bio)degradability and biocompatibility. This review will therefore discuss these two aspects in order to guide the future design of block copolymer nanoparticles for future translation towards clinical applications.