Biodegradable carboxylated polyurethanes with three molecular weights were synthesized to prepare a nanoparticulate sustained delivery system of raloxifene hydrochloride, the drug with poor bioavailability. The nanoparticles were prepared by coprecipitation method. Optimal conditions for the preparation of nanoparticles were obtained using Box–Behnken design. Independent factors were ratio of polymer to drug, Mw of polymer and speed of magnetic stirrer. Dependent variables include zeta potential, polydispersity index (PdI), particle size, and loading efficacy (LE). Results of the fractional factorial design based on an analysis of variance demonstrated that the model for particle size, zeta potential, PdI and loading efficacy was statistically significant. The size of nanoparticles in design experiments were 46–96 nm in diameter and had entrapment efficiency of 84–92%. The nanoparticles were evaluated for in vitro release and showed a sustained release profile (24.19% ± 4.35% after 4 weeks), following the Fickian diffusion-based release mechanism. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39668.