• electrospinning;
  • drug release;
  • nanofibers;
  • stimuli-responsive polymers

A living system has a complex and accurate regulation system with intelligent sensor-processor-effector components to enable the release of vital bioactive substances on demand at a specific site and time. Stimuli-responsive polymers mimic biological systems in a crude way where an external stimulus results in a change in conformation, solubility, or alternation of the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance, and consequently release of a bioactive substance. Electrospinning is a straightforward and robust method to produce nanofibers with the potential to incorporate drugs in a simple, rapid, and reproducible process. This feature article emphasizes an emerging area using an electrospinning technique to generate biomimetic nanofibers as drug delivery devices that are responsive to different stimuli, such as temperature, pH, light, and electric/magnetic field for controlled release of therapeutic substances. Although at its infancy, the mimicry of these stimuli-responsive nanofibers to the function of the living systems includes both the fibrous structural feature and bio-regulation function as an on demand drug release depot. The electrospun nanofibers with extracellular matrix morphology intrinsically guide cellular drug uptake, which will be highly desired to translate the promise of drug delivery for the clinical success.