Intelligent polymers, also referred as "stimuli-responsive polymers" undergo strong property changes (in shape, surface characteristics, solubility, etc.) when only small changes in their environment (changes in temperature, pH, ionic strength light, electrical and magnetic field, etc.). They have been used in several novel applications, drug delivery systems, tissue engineering scaffolds, bioseparation, biomimetic actuators, etc. The most popular member of these type of polymers is poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (poly(NIPA)) which exhibits temperature-sensitive character, in which the polymer chains change from water-soluble coils to water-insoluble globules in aqueous solution as temperature increases above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the polymer. Copolymerization of NIPA with acrylic acid (AAc) allows the synthesis of both pH and temperature-responsive copolymers. This paper summarizes some of our related studies in which NIPA and its copolymers were synthesized and used as intelligent carriers in diverse applications. (C) 2004 Published by Elsevier B.V.