A new “plug and play” polymeric template with the driving force of host–guest interaction between β-CD and naphthalene-modified functional groups was designed and studied. Multiple functional groups can be loaded into the template directly and conveniently. Importantly, the “plug and play” effect of the polymeric template is reversible and the functional groups could be removed from the polymeric template conveniently by adding AD-HCl. The studies on the cell viability and phagocytosis proved that the loading and unloading process of this template could be realized in vitro. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2012.