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

Wagner, Caroline E., et al. “A Rheological Study of the Association and Dynamics of MUC5AC Gels.” Biomacromolecules, vol. 18, no. 11, American Chemical Society (ACS), Nov. 2017, pp. 3654–64. Crossref, doi:10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00809. Full Text

Simon, Joseph R., et al. “Programming molecular self-assembly of intrinsically disordered proteins containing sequences of low complexity.Nature Chemistry, vol. 9, no. 6, June 2017, pp. 509–15. Epmc, doi:10.1038/nchem.2715. Full Text

Jacobson, David R., et al. “Single-stranded nucleic acid elasticity arises from internal electrostatic tension.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 114, no. 20, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2017, pp. 5095–100. Crossref, doi:10.1073/pnas.1701132114. Full Text

Gonzalez, Mark A., et al. “Strong, Tough, Stretchable, and Self-Adhesive Hydrogels from Intrinsically Unstructured Proteins.Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.), vol. 29, no. 10, Mar. 2017. Epmc, doi:10.1002/adma.201604743. Full Text

Ge, Ting, et al. “Nanoparticle Motion in Entangled Melts of Linear and Nonconcatenated Ring Polymers.” Macromolecules, vol. 50, no. 4, American Chemical Society (ACS), Feb. 2017, pp. 1749–54. Crossref, doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.6b02632. Full Text

Paturej, Jarosław, et al. “Molecular structure of bottlebrush polymers in melts.” Science Advances, vol. 2, no. 11, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Nov. 2016, pp. e1601478–e1601478. Crossref, doi:10.1126/sciadv.1601478. Full Text

Choueiri, Rachelle M., et al. “Surface patterning of nanoparticles with polymer patches.” Nature, vol. 538, no. 7623, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Oct. 2016, pp. 79–83. Crossref, doi:10.1038/nature19089. Full Text

Baeza, Guilhem P., et al. “Network dynamics in nanofilled polymers.” Nature Communications, vol. 7, no. 1, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Sept. 2016. Crossref, doi:10.1038/ncomms11368. Full Text

Pandiyarajan, C. K., et al. “Surface-Anchored Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) Orthogonal Gradient Networks.” Macromolecules, vol. 49, no. 14, American Chemical Society (ACS), July 2016, pp. 5076–83. Crossref, doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.6b01048. Full Text

Lebedeva, Natalia V., et al. “Multicore expandable microbubbles: Controlling density and expansion temperature.” Polymer, vol. 90, Elsevier BV, May 2016, pp. 45–52. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.polymer.2016.02.050. Full Text