Poly(beta-amino esters) are end-modified to form materials useful in the medical as well as non-medical field. An amine-terminated poly(beta-amino ester) is reacted with an electrophile, or an acrylate-terminated poly(beta-amino ester) is reacted with a nucleophile. The inventive end-modified polymers may be used in any field where polymers have been found useful including the drug delivery arts. The end-modified polymers are particularly useful in delivery nucleic acids such as DNA or RNA. The invention also provides compositions including the inventive end-modified polymers, methods of preparing the inventive polymers, and method of using the inventive polymers.