Polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) are one of the most studied organic strategies for nanomedicine. Intense interest lies in the potential of polymeric NPs to revolutionize modern medicine. To determine the ideal nanosystem for more effective and distinctly targeted delivery of therapeutic applications, particle size, morphology, material choice, and processing techniques are all research areas of interest. Utilizations of polymeric NPs include drug delivery techniques such as conjugation and entrapment of drugs, prodrugs, stimuli-responsive systems, imaging modalities, and theranostics. Cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and cardiovascular diseases are fields impacted by NP technologies that push scientific boundaries to the leading edge of transformative advances for nanomedicine. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2016, 8:271-299. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1364 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.