Michael Rubinstein

Michael Rubinstein

Aleksandar S. Vesic Distinguished Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Professor of Biomedical Engineering (Joint)

Professor of Physics (Joint)

Professor of Chemistry (Joint)

Office Location: 
Hudson Hall, Rm. 144, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
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

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

Liu, K., et al. “Step-Growth Polymerization of Inorganic Nanoparticles.” Science, vol. 329, no. 5988, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), July 2010, pp. 197–200. Crossref, doi:10.1126/science.1189457. Full Text

Panyukov, Sergey, et al. “Tension Amplification in Molecular Brushes in Solutions and on Substrates†.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, vol. 113, no. 12, American Chemical Society (ACS), Mar. 2009, pp. 3750–68. Crossref, doi:10.1021/jp807671b. Full Text

Hinczewski, Michael, et al. “End-Monomer Dynamics in Semiflexible Polymers.” Macromolecules, vol. 42, no. 3, American Chemical Society (ACS), Feb. 2009, pp. 860–75. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma802017g. Full Text

Kapnistos, M., et al. “Unexpected power-law stress relaxation of entangled ring polymers.” Nature Materials, vol. 7, no. 12, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Dec. 2008, pp. 997–1002. Crossref, doi:10.1038/nmat2292. Full Text

LaRue, Isaac, et al. “Effect of the Soluble Block Size on Spherical Diblock Copolymer Micelles.” Macromolecules, vol. 41, no. 17, American Chemical Society (ACS), Sept. 2008, pp. 6555–63. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma800403r. Full Text