Michael Rubinstein

Michael Rubinstein

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Office Location: 
3377 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
3377 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-5365


The research of the Rubinstein group is in the field of polymer theory and computer simulations. The unique properties of polymeric systems are due to the size, topology and interactions of the molecules they are made of. Our goal is to understand the properties of various polymeric systems and to design new systems with even more interesting and useful properties.

Our approach is based upon building and solving simple molecular models of different polymeric systems. The models we develop are simple enough to be solved either analytically or numerically, but contain the main features leading to unique properties of real polymers. Computer simulations of our models serve as an important bridge between analytical calculations and experiments.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1983

Button, B., et al. “A Periciliary Brush Promotes the Lung Health by Separating the Mucus Layer from Airway Epithelia.” Science, vol. 337, no. 6097, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Aug. 2012, pp. 937–41. Crossref, doi:10.1126/science.1223012. Full Text

Rubinstein, Michael, and Garegin A. Papoian. “Polyelectrolytes in biology and soft matter.” Soft Matter, vol. 8, no. 36, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2012, pp. 9265–9265. Crossref, doi:10.1039/c2sm90104h. Full Text

Zhulina, Ekaterina B., and Michael Rubinstein. “Ionic strength dependence of polyelectrolyte brush thickness.” Soft Matter, vol. 8, no. 36, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2012, pp. 9376–9376. Crossref, doi:10.1039/c2sm25863c. Full Text

Cai, Li-Heng, et al. “Mobility of Nonsticky Nanoparticles in Polymer Liquids.” Macromolecules, vol. 44, no. 19, American Chemical Society (ACS), Oct. 2011, pp. 7853–63. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma201583q. Full Text

Sheiko, Sergei S., et al. “Bond Tension in Tethered Macromolecules.” Macromolecules, vol. 44, no. 11, American Chemical Society (ACS), June 2011, pp. 4520–29. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma200328h. Full Text

Zhuravlev, Pavel I., et al. “Rigorous Calculation of Free Energy Difference Between Open and Closed States of Adenylate Kinase from Explicit Solvent Molecular Dynamics.” Biophysical Journal, vol. 100, no. 3, Elsevier BV, Feb. 2011, pp. 378a-378a. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2010.12.2252. Full Text

Zhang, W., et al. “The use of functionalized nanoparticles as non-specific compatibilizers for polymer blends.” Polymers for Advanced Technologies, vol. 22, no. 1, Wiley, Jan. 2011, pp. 65–71. Crossref, doi:10.1002/pat.1875. Full Text

Dobrynin, Andrey V., et al. “Chains Are More Flexible Under Tension.” Macromolecules, vol. 43, no. 21, American Chemical Society (ACS), Nov. 2010, pp. 9181–90. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma101860t. Full Text

Park, Insun, et al. “Spontaneous and Specific Activation of Chemical Bonds in Macromolecular Fluids.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 132, no. 35, American Chemical Society (ACS), Sept. 2010, pp. 12487–91. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ja105897b. Full Text

Zhuravlev, Pavel I., et al. “Computing free energies of protein conformations from explicit solvent simulations.” Methods, vol. 52, no. 1, Elsevier BV, Sept. 2010, pp. 115–21. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.ymeth.2010.05.003. Full Text