We use compartmentalised polymer-based structures with catalysts attached. These nanoparticles act as hydrophobic reaction sites and accelerate reactions in water and in complex cellular environments. We investigate a range of organocatalytic, photocatalytic and transition-metal-based reactions in water. In addition, we select catalysts capable of bio-orthogonal chemistry. Our ultimate goals are to use non-natural catalytic reactions in concert with enzymes to achieve cascade catalytic reactions and to activate prodrugs in the vicinity of diseased tissue.