Stealth nanorods via the aqueous living crystallisation-driven self-assembly of poly(2-oxazoline)s†
The morphology of nanomaterials critically influences their biological interactions. However, there is currently a lack of robust methods for preparing non-spherical particles from biocompatible materials. Here, we combine ‘living’ crystallisation-driven self-assembly (CDSA), a seeded growth method that enables the preparation of rod-like polymer nanoparticles, with poly(2-oxazoline)s (POx), a polymer class that exhibits ‘stealth’ behaviour and excellent biocompatibility. For the first time, the ‘living’ CDSA process was carried out in pure water, resulting in POx nanorods with lengths ranging from ∼60 to 635 nm. In vitro and in vivo study revealed low immune cell association and encouraging blood circulation times, but little difference in the behaviour of POx nanorods of different length. The stealth behaviour observed highlights the promising potential of POx nanorods as a next generation stealth drug delivery platform.