Poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) is a pH-responsive polymer. pH-responsive polymers are a group of stimuli-responsive polymers that can respond to solution pH by undergoing structural and property changes such as surface activity, chain conformation, solubility, and configuration. The term “pH-responsive polymers” is commonly used to describe polymers having ionisable acidic or basic residues whose ionization depends on solution pH. The physical properties of the polymer, such as its chain conformation, configuration, and solubility, can be tailored by manipulating the pH or ionic strength. These unique properties of pH responsive polymer systems consequently make them very useful in various applications such as drug delivery, gene delivery, sensors, surfaces, membranes, and chromatography.
pH-sensitive polymer systems combined with nanotechnology could be utilized as an alternative strategy to traditional targeting systems to overcome major problems in current chemotherapy represented by non-specific tissue distribution of the drugs, tumor heterogeneity, and multidrug resistance (MDR) against anticancer drugs.