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

Stukalin, Evgeny B., et al. “Self-Healing of Unentangled Polymer Networks with Reversible Bonds.” Macromolecules, vol. 46, no. 18, American Chemical Society (ACS), Sept. 2013, pp. 7525–41. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma401111n. Full Text

Sheiko, Sergei S., et al. “Perfect mixing of immiscible macromolecules at fluid interfaces.” Nature Materials, vol. 12, no. 8, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Aug. 2013, pp. 735–40. Crossref, doi:10.1038/nmat3651. Full Text

Choueiri, Rachelle M., et al. “Structural Transitions in Nanoparticle Assemblies Governed by Competing Nanoscale Forces.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 135, no. 28, American Chemical Society (ACS), July 2013, pp. 10262–65. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ja404341r. Full Text

Hegde, Maruti, et al. “SWCNT Induced Crystallization in an Amorphous All-Aromatic Poly(ether imide).” Macromolecules, vol. 46, no. 4, American Chemical Society (ACS), Feb. 2013, pp. 1492–503. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma302456h. Full Text

Zhushma, Aleksandr, et al. “A system for acoustical and optical analysis of encapsulated microbubbles at ultrahigh hydrostatic pressures.” Citation: Review of Scientific Instruments the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 84, 2013. Manual, doi:10.1063/1.4803158doi.org/10.1063/1.4803158. Full Text

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