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CBES: Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science

Samuel Stupp

Samuel Stupp

CBES Director, Northwestern University
Stupp Laboratory

CBES Research Areas:
Multi-Scale Synthesis of Artificial Muscles, Hierarchical Structure-Mediated Photocatalysis, Autonomous Soft Microrobots, Magnetic Morphogenesis, Mechanical Enhancement of Photocatalysis

  • Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering
PhD (1977), Northwestern University

Leaves adjust light absorption and photosynthetic conversion efficiency at a cellular level through chloroplast movement. The Stupp lab recently discovered surprising changes in the visible light absorption spectra and photocatalytic activity of hydrogels that depend on subtle changes in supramolecular packing. This suggested the possibility of accessing non-equilibrium photocatalytic states using mechanical energy. The Stupp lab utilizes novel hydrogels developed at CBES based on amphiphilic chromophores that possess suitable redox potentials for CO2 photocatalysis. These hydrogels are used to investigate the bio-inspired idea of mechanical actuation in photocatalysis.

Muscles in mammalian species are soft-matter structures with remarkable anisotropic mechanical function powered by chemical energy. They are built by nanoscale building blocks into hierarchically ordered structures that bridge length scales with capacity to exert highly tunable mechanical forces. These structures inspired work on the thermo-responsive anisotropic actuating materials. The Stupp group is now pursuing materials that are encoded molecularly to rapidly transduce light to mechanical energy. New molecules have been used to achieve shorter response times, and porous hydrogels have been investigated to speed up water diffusion. 

Key Publications

Covalent-Supramolecular Hybrid Polymers as Muscle-Inspired Anisotropic Actuators
Chin, S., Synatschke, C.V., Liu, S., Nap, R.J., Sather, N.A., Wang, Q., Alvarez, Z., Edelbrock, A.N., Fyrner, T., Palmer, L.C., Szleifer, I., Olvera de la Cruz, M., Stupp, S. I.
Nat. Commun. 9, 2018, 2395. 

Instructing Cells with Programmable Peptide DNA Hybrids
Freeman, R., Stephanopoulos, N., Alvarez, Z., Lewis, J.A., Sur, S., Serrano, C.M., Boekhoven, J., Lee, S.S., Stupp, S.I.
Nat. Commun. 8, 2017, 15982.

Water Dynamics from the Surface to the Interior of a Supramolecular Nanostructure
Ortony, J.H., Qiao, G., Newcomb, C.J., Keller, T.J., Palmer, L.C., Deiss-Yehiely, E., Olvera de la Cruz, M., Han, S., Stupp, S.I.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 2017, 8915-8921. 

Simultaneous Covalent and Noncovalent Hybrid Polymerizations
Yu, Z., Tantakitti, F., Yu, T., Palmer, L. C., Schatz, G.C., Stupp, S.I.
Science 351, 2016, 497-502. 

Energy Landscapes and Functions of Supramolecular Systems
Tantakitti, F., Boekhoven, J., Wang, X., Kazantsev, R.V., Yu, T., Li, J., Zhuang, E., Zandi, R., Ortony, J. H., Newcomb, C.J., Palmer, L. C., Shekhawat, G. S., Olvera de la Cruz, M., Schatz, G.C., Stupp, S.I.
Nat. Mater. 15, 2016, 469–476.

A Self-Assembly Pathway to Aligned Monodomain Gels
Zhang, S. M., Greenfield, M. A., Mata, A., Palmer, L. C., Bitton, R., Mantei, J. R., Aparicio, C., Olvera de la Cruz, M., Stupp, S. I.
Nat. Mater. 6, 2010, 857-863.

CBES Publications

View all CBES publications authored by Samuel Stupp

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