Novel polymer core–shell nanoparticles that exhibited a pH-dependent lower critical solution temperature (LCST) have been synthesized. The nanoparticles displayed stable structure in a nominal physiological environment but deformed and precipitated in an acidic environment, thereby releasing the enclosed drug molecules (see Figure). The nanoparticles would make a promising carrier for targeting drugs to tumor tissues or cell interiors where the environment is characteristically acidic.
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