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Bio and Soft Matter (BSMA), Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences (IMCN), Université catholique de Louvain, Place L. Pasteur, 1, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Stimuli-responsive block copolymer micelles are the topic of intense research since they are able to show sharp and eventually reversible responses to various environmental changes and find applications in various fields including controlled drug delivery. Among all the available stimuli, light has recently attracted much attention since it can be localized in time and space, and it can also be triggered from outside of the system. In this tutorial review, we highlight the progress realized in recent years. More precisely, we provide some guidelines towards the rational design of photo-responsive block copolymers and we present the different photo-responsive moieties that have been used so far. We also discuss the different types of irreversible and reversible responses encountered by photo-responsive block copolymer micelles. Finally, we suggest possible future developments including the design of biocompatible systems operating at excitation wavelengths compatible for biomedical applications.