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Aquatic robot inspired by sea creatures walks, rolls, transports cargo
Northwestern University, News Center

by Amanda Morris
Dec 29, 2020

Soft material is powered by light and rotating magnetic fields.

Northwestern University researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind life-like material that acts as a soft robot. It can walk at human speed, pick up and transport cargo to a new location, climb up hills and even break-dance to release a particle.

Nearly 90% water by weight, the centimeter-sized robot moves without complex hardware, hydraulics or electricity. Instead, it is activated by light and walks in the direction of an external rotating magnetic field. More

Northwestern Scientists Publish Guiding Principles for COVID-19 Vaccine Development
McCormick School of Engineering, News & Events
by Daniel Allar
July 21, 2020

Four takeaways from research could help scientists working to develop safe and effective vaccine.

A team from Northwestern including Northwestern Engineering’s Michael Jewettand Samuel Stupp has created guidelines to assist in developing a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19.

Published July 21 in ACS Central Science, the principles were gleaned from early research on COVID-19 and data from the 2003 SARS outbreak, caused by SARS-CoV, a very similar virus to SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. More


Northwestern, MIT Researchers Develop Novel Materials for Energy and Sensing
McCormick School of Engineering, News & Events
by Daniel Allar
July 6, 2020

Strategically varying composition of organic layers can "tune" color of light absorbed by perovskites.

A team of researchers from Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has demonstrated the ability to fine-tune the electronic properties of hybrid perovskite materials, which have drawn enormous interest as potential next-generation optoelectronic materials for devices such as solar cells and light sources.
The materials are classified as “hybrid” because they contain inorganic components like metals as well as organic molecules with elements like carbon and nitrogen, organized into nanoscale layers. In the paper “Tunable exciton binding energy in 2D hybrid layered perovskites through donor–acceptor interactions within the organic layer,” published July 6 in the journal Nature Chemistry, the researchers showed that by strategically varying the composition of the organic layers, they could tune the color of light absorbed by the perovskite and also the wavelength at which the material emitted light. Importantly, they accomplished this without substantially changing the inorganic component. More

Synthetic materials mimic living creatures
Northwestern University, News Center
by Amanda Morris
June 22, 2020

Robotic soft matter’ bends, rotates and crawls when hit with light.

Northwestern University researchers have developed a family of soft materials that imitates living creatures.

When hit with light, the film-thin materials come alive — bending, rotating and even crawling on surfaces.

Called “robotic soft matter" by the Northwestern team, the materials move without complex hardware, hydraulics or electricity. The researchers believe the lifelike materials could carry out many tasks, with potential applications in energy, environmental remediation and advanced medicine. More

New Bio-inspired Dynamic Materials Transform Themselves
McCormick School of Engineering, News & Events
by Emily Ayshford
Oct 4, 2018

Highly dynamic synthetic superstructures self-assemble, change stiffness of soft materials, then revert, while providing new clues on brain, spinal cord injuries and neurological disease

Scientists have been searching for ways to develop materials that are as dynamic as living things, with the ability to change shape, move, and change properties reversibly.

Now, with nature as their inspiration, Northwestern University scientists have developed soft materials that autonomously self-assemble into molecular superstructures and remarkably disassemble on demand, changing the properties of materials and opening the door for novel materials in applications ranging from sensors and robotics to new drug delivery systems and tools for tissue regeneration.

The highly dynamic new materials form hydrogels and have also provided unexpected biological clues about the brain micro-environment after injury or disease when their superstructures revealed reversible phenotypes in brain cells characteristic of injured or healthy brain tissue.

New technology to manipulate cells could one day help treat Parkinson's, arthritis, other diseases
Northwestern University, News Center
by Kristin Samuelson
July 10, 2017

DNA strands in materials act like traffic signals to start, stop cell activity or regenerate tissue

A groundbreaking advancement in materials from Northwestern University could potentially help patients requiring stem cell therapies for spinal cord injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritic joints or any other condition requiring tissue regeneration, according to a new study.

“It’s important in the context of cell therapies for people to cure these diseases or regenerate tissues that are no longer functional,” said senior author Samuel I. Stupp, director of Northwestern’s Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology and Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering.

Sugar-coated nanomaterial excels at promoting bone growth
Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
June 19, 2017

Method offers pathway for improving patient outcomes after spinal fusion surgery

EVANSTON - There hasn’t been a gold standard for how orthopaedic spine surgeons promote new bone growth in patients, but now Northwestern University scientists have designed a bioactive nanomaterial that is so good at stimulating bone regeneration it could become the method surgeons prefer.

While studied in an animal model of spinal fusion, the method for promoting new bone growth could translate readily to humans, the researchers say, where an aging but active population in the U.S. is increasingly receiving this surgery to treat pain due to disc degeneration, trauma and other back problems. Many other procedures could benefit from the nanomaterial, ranging from repair of bone trauma to treatment of bone cancer to bone growth for dental implants. 

Samuel Stupp honored with Royal Society of Chemistry’s Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry Award
Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
May 9, 2016

...The Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry Award honors outstanding and innovative research in soft condensed matter and the application of physico-chemical techniques to biological problems. Stupp is receiving this award for his fundamental contributions to the science of supramolecular soft matter and for demonstrating its value to control biophysical interactions with mammalian cells. He will receive a medal during a symposium this year and will undertake a lecture tour in the U.K.

“I am absolutely flattered and delighted to receive this honour,” Stupp said. “The development of these soft biomaterials is extremely important to future therapies in regenerative medicine and many other disease therapies involving delivery of macromolecular drugs, such as proteins and antibodies.”

Hybrid Polymer Blends Covalent And Supramolecular Components
Chemical & Engineering News
by Bethany Halford
February 1, 2016

Polymers: Supramolecular component can be removed and reconstituted on demand to yield soft materials with novel delivery or repair functions

By combining monomers that form a covalently linked polymer with a monomer that assembles noncovalently into a supramolecular polymer, researchers have created a novel soft material that’s distinct from the forms these monomers take on their own. The new hybrid structure, created by Samuel I. Stupp and colleagues at Northwestern University, can be partially disassembled and reassembled on demand, creating a material that could have applications in drug delivery and self-healing materials......more

Researchers Develop Completely New Kind of Polymer
Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
January 29, 2016

Hybrid polymers could lead to new concepts in self-repairing materials, drug delivery and artificial muscles.

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Imagine a polymer with removable parts that can deliver something to the environment and then be chemically regenerated to function again. Or a polymer that can lift weights, contracting and expanding the way muscles do.

These functions require polymers with both rigid and soft nano-sized compartments with extremely different properties that are organized in specific ways. A completely new hybrid polymer of this type has been developed by Northwestern University researchers that might one day be used in artificial muscles or other life-like materials; for delivery of drugs, biomolecules or other chemicals; in materials with self-repair capability; and for replaceable energy sources......more

Light-harvesting materials: Soft support for energy conversion
Nature Chemistry, News and Views
by Ryan M. Stolley & Monte L. Helm
October 2014

To convert solar energy into viable fuels, coupling light-harvesting materials to catalysts is a crucial challenge. Now, the combination of an organic supramolecular hydrogel and a non-precious metal catalyst has been demonstrated to be effective for photocatalytic H2 production.

Ronald Breslow Award For Achievement In Biomimetic Chemistry
Chemical & Engineering News
by Britt E. Erickson
January 21, 2013

A leader in supramolecular self-assembly, Samuel I. Stupp is being honored for his work on developing bioactive materials that could revolutionize therapies in regenerative medicine. Stupp is well-known for creating an extensive platform of self-assembling molecules, especially those based on peptide amphiphiles that form nanofibers, resulting in broadly bioactive synthetic materials......more

New Geometries: Researchers Create New Shapes of Artificial Microcompartments
Northwestern University, McCormick News
by Sarah Ostman
December 11, 2012

In nature, biological functions are often carried out in tiny protective shells known as microcompartments, structures that provide home to enzymes that convert carbon dioxide into energy in plant cells and to viruses that replicate once they enter the cell.......more

New Computer Memory Material Goes Easy on the Juice
Science Magazine, News
by Robert F. Service
August 24, 2012

Multitasking has a price: Your computer is sucking up a lot of electricity keeping track of work you haven't yet saved to the hard drive. Americans spend $6 billion a year on electricity to keep that data stored in a computer's memory during operation. But that figure could drop sharply, scientists report this week, thanks to a new type of material than can permanently store such data—without needing a continuous trickle of electricity to do it.......more

Tayi, A. S.; Shveyd, A. K.; Sue, C-H.; Szarko, J. M.; Rolczynski, B. S.; Cao, D.; Kennedy, T. J.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Stern, C. L.; Paxton, W. F.; Wu, W.; Dey, S. K.; Fahrenbach, A. C.; Guest, J. R.; Mohseni, H.; Chen, L. X.; Wang, K. L.; Stoddart, J. F.; Stupp, S. I.“Room-Temperature Ferroelectricity in Supramolecular Networks of Charge-Transfer Complexes” Nature 488(7412), (2012) 485-489.

Future Memory
Ferroelectric materials could bring down cost of cloud computing and electronic devices

Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
August 22, 2012

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A new class of organic materials developed at Northwestern University boasts a very attractive but elusive property: ferroelectricity. The crystalline materials also have a great memory, which could be very useful in computer and cellphone memory applications, including cloud computing.

A team of organic chemists discovered they could create very long crystals with desirable properties using just two small organic molecules that are extremely attracted to each other. The attraction between the two molecules causes them to self assemble into an ordered network -- order that is needed for a material to be ferroelectric.......more

The Future of Manmade Materials
Northwestern University, News Center
by Erin White
February 16, 2012

EVANSTON, Ill. --- There’s nothing ordinary about the materials being designed in the Stupp Laboratory at Northwestern University. Many of the futuristic fibers, films, gels, coatings and putty-like substances have led to important advances in areas of research such as regenerative medicine and energy technologies.

These advances are part of an emerging field focused on using functional supramolecular polymers to unlock previously unknown functions of materials. A review article published in the Feb. 16 issue of the journal Science details this field and highlights some of the key developments made in the past decade......more

Aida, T.; Meijer, E. W.; Stupp, S. I. “Functional Supramolecular Polymers” Science 335(6070), (2012) 813-817.

NU scientists create tiny blood-vessel builders
Chicago Tribune, News: Chicagoland
by Kelly April
August 17th, 2011

Imagine splitting a human hair 100,000 times. Each split is a single nanometer in diameter, the size of a nanostructure.

These tiny items are being used by scientists and doctors at Northwestern University to do something big: build new blood vessels......more

Nanostructure Promotes Growth of New Blood Vessels, Mimics Natural Protein
Northwestern University, McCormick News
by Megan Fellman
August 1, 2011

Tissue deprived of oxygen (ischemia) is a serious health condition that can lead to damaged heart tissue following a heart attack and, in the case of peripheral arterial disease in limbs, amputation, particularly in diabetic patients.

Northwestern University researchers have developed a novel nanostructure that promotes the growth of new blood vessels and shows promise as a therapy for conditions where increased blood flow is needed to supply oxygen to tissue.

Nanofiber Regenerates Blood Vessels
MIT Technology Review
by Kenrick Vezina
August 1, 2011

Regenerating blood vessels is important for combating the aftereffects of a heart attack or peripheral arterial disease, and for ensuring that transplanted organs receive a sufficient supply of blood. Now researchers at Northwestern University have created a nanomaterial that could help the body to grow new blood vessels.

Regenerative medicine: Noodle gels for cells
Nature Materials, News and Views
by Timothy J. Deming
July 2010

Heating and cooling of peptide amphiphile suspensions converts disorganized nanofibres into liquid-crystalline nanofibre bundles that gel on addition of salts. The noodle-shaped strings of gel can entrap and align cells.

Spaghetti Highway for Cells
Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
June 24, 2010

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A big question in regenerative medicine is how to most effectively deliver stem cells -- as well as other beneficial cells, proteins and large molecules -- to damaged tissues such as the spinal cord, heart and brain.

A Northwestern University team is the first to demonstrate a method that delivers cells in the same alignment as the cells found in these tissues, which could jumpstart new growth and healing. The findings are published as the cover story in the July issue of the journal Nature Materials.

Fiber Bundles Line Up
Chemical & Engineering News
by Celia Henry Arnaud
June 16, 2010

Scientists at Northwestern University have discovered a mechanism for forming peptide-based liquid crystals that can be drawn by hand into long, highly aligned, gel-like nanofiber bundles with the shapes of noodles (Nat. Mater., DOI: 10.1038/nmat2778). These soft and pliable materials could be useful as scaffolds for growth of cells in biomedical applications.

To make the new material, team leader Samuel I. Stupp and coworkers start with amphiphilic small molecules consisting of peptides with long alkyl chains. When heated in solution, these molecules organize themselves into two-dimensional plaques. As the solution cools, those plaques break into bundles of highly aligned nanofibers. These, in turn, form a liquid crystal that, when drawn through a salt solution, forms long noodlelike "monodomain" gels in which all the bundles are aligned in a single direction.

Materials science: Noodly appendages
Nature/Research Highlights
by E. H.
June 16, 2010

Chemists have cooked up bundles of nanometre-scale fibres that not only stretch and bend, but can be packed alongside cells.

...The authors showed that stem cells elongated preferentially along the direction of the fibres, and that the noodles also allowed heart cells to propagate electrical signals as if in a wire. The material could be a useful scaffold for medical researchers......more

Novel 'cell wires' to patch up heart or nerve damage
Chemistry World/News
by Lewis Brindley
June 13, 2010

Noodle-like strings containing living cells have been made by researchers in the US. Simple to make, these 'cell wires' are a step towards exciting medical treatments, such as helping to repair tissue in the heart and spinal cord, or the design of artificial muscles.

'We have discovered a way to align huge arrays of nano-sized filaments and living cells over macroscopic distances, says Sam Stupp, who led the research at Northwestern University, Illinois. 'The arrays form a noodle-shaped gel that could potentially be implanted where cell alignment is important, such as in cardiac or nervous tissue.'

Unexpected Route To Crystallization
Chemical & Engineering News
Science & Technology Concentrates

by Mitch Jacoby
December 21, 2009

Long-range electrostatic repulsion can drive crystallization in three-dimensional networks of like-charged peptide-based filaments, according to a study from Northwestern University (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1182340). The unprecedented crystallization mechanism could play a previously unrecognized role in forming cytoskeletal structures—the protein “scaffolding” in cells—and lead to advances in biomedical applications. Honggang Cui, Samuel I. Stupp, and coworkers report that a synthetic molecule made from a peptide sequence grafted to an alkyl chain spontaneously forms networks of cylindrical fibers. These filaments consist of a hydrocarbon core and peptide periphery that are roughly 10 nm in diameter and estimated to be at least tens of micrometers in length. In dilute solutions of about 1 wt % or higher, repulsion between negatively charged nanofibers causes the structures to crystallize spontaneously. In less concentrated solutions, deprotonation stimulated by X-rays triggers reversible crystallization, leading to ordered fiber bundles with interfiber separations of up to 320 Å. That distance is on the order of 10 times the range of values reported for cytoskeleton filaments and DNA strands, the team says.

Growing Cartilage -- No Easy Task
Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
February 1, 2010

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University researchers are the first to design a bioactive nanomaterial that promotes the growth of new cartilage in vivo and without the use of expensive growth factors. Minimally invasive, the therapy activates the bone marrow stem cells and produces natural cartilage. No conventional therapy can do this.

The results were published online the week of February 1st by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Surprising Discovery: X-Rays Drive Formation of New Crystals; Crystals Resemble Some Biological Structures
Jan 27, 2010

A team of Northwestern University researchers has discovered that X-rays can trigger the formation of a new type of crystal: charged cylindrical filaments ordered like a bundle of pencils experiencing repulsive forces, which is unknown in crystals. Similar phenomena may occur naturally in biology, such as in the cytoskeleton filaments of cells, which control cell division and migration in cancer metastasis and many other processes.

The results, which will be published in the Jan. 29 issue of the journal Science, expand scientific knowledge of crystals, whether from nature, technological devices or the lab, and also open the door to using X-rays to control the structure of materials or to develop novel biomedical therapies.

Crystal formation is usually based on attractive forces between atoms or molecules, making the Northwestern discovery completely unexpected.

New Partnership in Biomedicine and Translational Research
Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
Jan 6, 2010

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Scientists from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden will deliver public talks Jan. 11 and 12 at Northwestern University to introduce an important new exchange program to the University's research community.

The two universities signed an education and research exchange agreement in Sweden last month to foster collaborative relationships in biomedicine and translational research.

Northwestern's Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM) and Gothenburg's medical school, known as the Sahlgrenska Academy, are the primary institutions in the exchange program. IBNAM's research strengths are well matched to Sahlgrenska's research interests in regenerative medicine, particularly the neural and orthopedic areas.

Collaboration Focuses on Fracture Putty for Bone Injuries
Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
May 21, 2009

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University is part of a multi-institution initiative to produce “fracture putty,” a biocompatible compound designed to mend serious leg fractures, such as those suffered by soldiers.

The two-year research project is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense.

The research team’s goal is to develop a putty-like material that could be used to regenerate bones shattered by roadside bombs or other explosive devices. This type of injury, called a non-union fracture, generally will not heal in a timely manner and can lead to amputation.

Zinc Oxide Gives Green Shine to New Photoconductors
Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
March 19, 2009

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Photodetectors -- devices found in cell phones, digital cameras and other consumer gadgets that utilize photoconducting materials -- are a green technology in performance (converting light into electricity), but the manufacture of very powerful photodetectors needs to be improved before they can qualify for solid green status.

Northwestern University researchers have designed a high-performing photoconducting material that uses zinc oxide -- an environmentally friendly inorganic compound found in baby powder and suntan lotion -- instead of lead sulfide. (Currently, the best performing photoconductor is based on lead sulfide nanoparticles.)

Features of the new hybrid material and its synthesis are detailed in a study published by the journal Nature Materials.

Biologically Active Nanofibers – Paralyzed Limbs Move Again
NIH/NIBIB Health and Education E-Advance

November 26, 2008

Samuel Stupp and collaborators at Northwestern University have designed a material that self-assembles into tiny tubes—nanofibers—when it comes in contact with tissues. The nanofibers are studded with short strings of amino acids that signal nerve cells to grow new extensions after spinal cord injury. Within weeks of receiving the bioactive nanofiber injection, mice paralyzed from spinal cord injury showed signs of recovery. By changing the bioactive molecules on the nanofibers, it will be possible to instruct cells to behave in a desired way. This work confirms that bioactive nanofiber technology holds promise for treating a broad range of injuries and diseases. See the full story here:

Self-Assembled Materials Form Mini Stem Cell Lab
Northwestern University, News Center
by Megan Fellman
March 27, 2008

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Imagine having one polymer and one small molecule that instantly assemble into a flexible but strong sac in which you can grow human stem cells, creating a sort of miniature laboratory. And that sac, if used for cell therapy, could cloak the stem cells from the human body’s immune system and biodegrade upon arriving at its destination, releasing the stem cells to do their work.

Futuristic? Only in part. A research team from Northwestern University’s Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine has created such sacs and demonstrated that human stem cells will grow in them. The researchers also report that the sacs can survive for weeks in culture and that their membranes are permeable to proteins. Proteins, even large ones, can travel freely across the membrane.

Paralyzed Mice Walk Again
ABC News
by Lee Dye
May 1, 2007

Samuel Stupp has a bunch of mice that used to drag their hind legs behind them when they crawled around his Illinois lab, but they have miraculously regained at least partial use of their rear legs.

Astonishingly, their severed spinal cords have been repaired, at least partly, without surgery or drugs.  All it took was a simple injection of a liquid containing tiny molecular structures developed by Stupp and his colleagues at Northwestern University. Six weeks later, the mice were able to walk again. They don't have their former agility, but their injuries should have left them paralyzed for life.

Stupp is on the cutting edge of one of the most exciting fields in medical research: regenerative medicine. If he and others in the field are on the right track, one of these days tragic diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's will be a thing of the past. And the crippled will walk again as the human body repairs itself in ways that it cannot do today.

If I Only Had a Nano-Heart
by Robert F. Service
September 12, 2006

Mice induced to have heart attacks or given other wounds have quickly made a full recovery, thanks to a little help from nanotechnology. If the new results translate to humans, they could someday offer hope to millions of victims of heart attacks and other major injuries.

Even on a cellular level, wound healing takes time. The body must target a large number of molecules called growth factors to just the right area to help repair the damage. Samuel Stupp, a chemist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and colleagues wondered whether they could speed up the process by injecting a bit of nanotechnology into the mix. The new tools are molecules called peptide amphiphiles. Once injected into the body, the amphiphiles self-assemble into long, thin nanofibers, which hang out in the wound area.

Something to be Proud Of...
New Scientist
by Anna Gosline
September 9, 2006

IT IS all too easy to paint a grim picture of chemistry in the UK. Undergraduate enrolment in chemistry courses began to plummet in the late 1990s, bottoming out in 2003 with barely 3000 students. These dwindling numbers, coupled with the high cost of teaching the subject, have led some universities to shut down their departments. Chemists graduating from the University of Exeter, King's College London and Queen Mary, University of London, have all seen windows boarded up behind them.

Countless papers, talks and initiatives have been spawned in an effort to entice students back into the field. Working chemists should venture into classrooms, they say, armed with demonstrations of the big, loud and dangerous reactions of past schooldays. Chemistry teachers should have chemistry degrees to impart their enthusiasm to students, reckons the UK government.

But maybe there is a simpler way to turn the tide: good old-fashioned PR. One way to do this is by demonstrating how chemistry can step up to the challenges of the modern world, be it answering energy needs, addressing climate change or improving our health. So New Scientist polled a selection of leading chemists and asked them what we should be celebrating in today's chemistry, and how this research will answer the future demands of life, just as it has done for the past 200 years.

Nanostructures Help Build Blood Vessels
Chemical & Engineering News
by Bethany Halford
August 17, 2006

Nanofibers coated with bound heparin chains, which aid in blood vessel growth, is formed by cylindrical aggregation of charged peptide amphiphiles with hydrocarbon chain core. Using the biopolymer heparin and a nanofiber scaffold, researchers at Northwestern University have developed a novel nanostructure that promotes blood vessel growth. The system, developed by Samuel I. Stupp and his colleagues, could become an important tool in regenerative medicine, where new blood vessel formation is critical for healing wounds.

Nanofibres spin a sticky web for blood vessels
Nature Materials
by Philip Ball
August 17,2006

Self-assembling nanofibres designed to bind to a biomolecule that helps to promote blood-vessel formation (angiogenesis) have been shown by a team at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, to stimulate vessel growth in real biological tissue. The angiogenic fibres are the latest fruits of the efforts of Sam Stupp and his co-workers at Northwestern to use nanostructures for tissue engineering and medicine.

Nanotechnologists Seek Biological Niches
by Ivan Amato
December 16, 2005

Biologists are embracing nanotechnology—the engineering and manipulating of entities in the 1 to 100 nm range—and are exploiting its potential to develop new therapeutics and diagnostics.

In late August, behind closed doors at the austere National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C., Samuel Stupp, a materials scientist and director of the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern University, showed a video clip for a committee evaluating the United States' billion-dollar-a-year National Nanotechnology Program.

Northwestern team assembling oil alternative
Chicago Sun Times
by Sandra Guy
December 21, 2005

New fuels to wean America from its oil dependence have become the new Holy Grail, and a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston has made an important step in that search.

Samuel I. Stupp is recognized in Scientific American magazine's December issue for his work that could lead to cheap, viable solar energy. The magazine chose 50 researchers to honor for "shaping the future of technology."

Nano World: Nano for stem-cell research
Washington Times (UPI)
By Charles Q. Choi
June 13, 2005

Cutting-edge nanotechnology is beginning to help advance the equally pioneering field of stem-cell research, with devices that can precisely control stem cells and provide self-assembling biodegradable scaffolds.

Nanofibers Seed Blood Vessels
April 1, 2005

At the ACS meeting, chemist Sam Stupp of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, reported that his team has developed a novel variety of self-assembling nanofibers that strongly promote the growth of new blood vessels both in cell cultures and preliminary animal tests.

Research team develops gel to grow blood vessels
The Daily Northwestern
by Elizabeth Sabrio
April 08, 2005

With new nanotechnology developed by a Northwestern research team, blood vessels could be created to heal tears or blockage with a simple injection.

Materials Potpourri - Regenerative Medicine Meets Nanotechnology
Chemical & Engineering News
by Bethany Halford
January 3, 2005

Nanomaterials built from a simple family of self-assembling molecules may offer hope for treating serious injuries such as stroke and spinal cord trauma, according to new results from Northwestern University chemistry professor Samuel I. Stupp and colleagues.

Molecular line-up: using nanoscale self-assembly for organic electronics
Annual Report 2004 -
Office of Research
Northwestern University (cover)

By harnessing the power of supramolecular chemistry, Samuel Stupp's laboratory has created a group of electronically useful molecules that organized themselves in water, the first step in creating an aqueous, low-cost fabrication process for plastic electronics.

Future of Tissue Engineering
New York Academy of Sciences
by Denise Caruso
September 19, 2004

Samuel Stupp chose to address a future covered by a broader umbrella than simply tissue engineering--that of regenerative medicine. Stupp presented many examples of research being done in this broader area--some of it completed, some still in progress--that has yielded enormously promising results.

Biotechnology Brings Hope to Tissue Regeneration
Innovation Magazine
by Lay Leng TAN

Applying synthetic molecules in regenerative medicine may translate to the repair of spinal-cord injury, bone, and heart tissue.

Nanomedicine's Promise Is Anything but Tiny
Washington Post
by Rick Weiss

January 31, 2005

It was a small wedding. Very small. But big changes are coming from the marriage of medicine and nanotechnology, the new branch of science that deals with things a few millionths of an inch in size.

Color Collective: Polymer self-assembles into light-emitting film
Science News
by Alexandra Goho
December 11, 2004

Stacks of sheets of light-emitting organic molecules that assemble into nanoscale structures could be more efficient and luminescent than existing display materials based on organic substances.

Scientists Grow Neurons Using Nanostructures
January 27, 2004

Scientists at Northwestern University have designed synthetic molecules that promote neuron growth, a promising development that could lead to the reversal of paralysis due to spinal cord injury.

Bioengineers build scaffold to grow neurons
CBC News (Canada)
January 23, 2004

Scientists have designed gel-like molecules that promote neuron growth. They say it could someday lead to a way to regenerate damaged spinal cords.

Self-assembling scaffold for spinal-cord repair; 'Liquid' bridge could help severed nerve cells grow
by Helen R. Pilcher
January 23, 2004

It may well be the smallest scaffolding in the world, and the easiest to set up. Researchers have devised a tiny self-assembling structure that they hope will help repair damaged spinal cords.

New NU stem-cell gel advances spinal injury research
Chicago Tribune
by Jeremy Manier
January 23, 2004

In a study that could lead to new treatments for spinal cord injury, Northwestern University researchers have coaxed neural stem cells to grow in a specially engineered gel that could be injected directly to a site of spinal damage.

Injectable scaffold aids rebuilding of nerves
New Scientist
by Laura Spinney
January 22, 2004

A liquid that forms a gel-like mass of nanofibres on contact with water could provide the most promising vehicle yet for the regeneration of damaged spinal cords.

Living In The Materials World

by Mitch Jacoby
Chemical & Engineering News
January 5, 2004

The annual fall meeting of the Materials Research Society draws record-sized crowd for wide-ranging discussions on materials research.

The matrix, reinvented
by David Cyranoski
August 21, 2003

Interest in culturing cells in three dimensions has taken off in the past few years -- but when it comes to the basic tool of the trade, most researchers are still using 1980s technology. [PDF]

Bone That Grows Back
by Ann Marie Cunningham
ScienCentral News
June 19, 2003

Suppose you break a bone, and go to the emergency room. Imagine that a doctor there could start growing your bone back. As this ScienCentral News video reports, one nanotechnologist says he’s taken a big step towards making this medical miracle real.

Plastic Electric
by Jessica Gorman
Science News
May 17, 2003

For the last century, technology has blossomed in an age of plastics. We drive cars with plastic parts, we wear eyeglasses with plastic lenses, and we sip mineral water from plastic bottles. Plastic cell phones connect us to family and friends, and plastic keys typed these very words. Plastics may now be entering additional avenues of technological greatness based on one of their newer properties—electrical conductance.

Bringing a sense of order to plastics
by David Bradley
March 1, 2003

US chemists are using liquid crystals as templates to help them synthesise novel plastics that conduct electricity. The technique could be used in the leap from laboratory to mass production of polymer-based components for displays, foil-batteries, and microelectronics devices.

Polymers Line Up
by Mitch Jacoby
Chemical & Engineering News
February 17, 2003

Bright cell phone and laptop displays that burden neither power supplies nor pocketbooks may soon become available. At Northwestern University, researchers have come up with a simple procedure for preparing films of conducting polymers with a high degree of order--a property that boosts the performance of the materials when used in electronic applications [Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 42, 778 (2003)].

Molecular template makes nanoscale helix
by Jessica Gorman
Science News
July 13, 2002

Using ribbons made of organic molecules as minuscule templates, researchers have coaxed a semiconductor material into tiny helical coils. Made of cadmium sulfide, the helical structures could serve as components of future nanoscale sensors and other devices, says Samuel Stupp of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Helical Semiconductors

Editor's Choice: Highlights of the recent research
June 7, 2002

One of the aims of supramolecular chemistry is to build assemblies of molecules in a controllable fashion. These structures are held together by relatively weak noncovalent interactions and thus might be easily reconfigurable into a variety of morphologies for possible applications in nanotechnology.

Supramolecular organic structures as templates for inorganic nano-objects
The Institute of Nanotechnology
June 2002

Because of their special optical and electronic properties, new nanostructures of inorganic materials are of interest as building blocks for nanotechnological devices. A promising starting point for the synthesis of such materials seems to be the use of "templates" or molds made of organic molecules that arrange themselves into highly organized nanostructures and guide the shape and size of inorganic compounds.>

Molecular-scale biomimicry
by William L. Murphy & David J. Mooney
Nature Biotechnology
January 2002

The design of self-assembling biomaterials that mimic complex biological structures represents a considerable challenge. This is perhaps not surprising when one considers that such structures have undergone millions of years of evolutionary optimization. Fortunately for us, biomimetics research is proceeding on a rather faster time scale, as demonstrated by a recent paper in Science by Stupp and colleagues.>

Nanofibers could help bones heal, Northwestern Researchers Report
United Press International
November 26, 2001

Researchers report in the journal Science they have designed a nanoscale molecular scaffolding that resembles the basic structure of bone.

Scientists Design Molecules That Mimic Nanostructure of Bone
November 26, 2001

Scientists at Northwestern University have become the first to design molecules that could lead to a breakthrough in bone repair. The designer molecules hold promise for the development of a bonelike material to be used for bone fractures or in the treatment of bone cancer patients and have implications for the regeneration of other tissues and organs.>

Self-Assembling Materials:
Coated Nanofibers Copy What's Bred in the Bone

by Robert F. Service
November 23, 2001

If imitation is flattery, Sam Stupp has just paid nature a high compliment. On page 1684, Stupp, a materials scientist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and his postdocs Jeffrey Hartgerink and Elia Beniash report creating a self-assembling material, made from organic molecules with a mineral coat, that closely mimics bone.>

Stories of modern science... from UPI
New Material Mimics Bone

by Jim Kling
United Press International
November 23, 2001

Scientists at Northwestern University have designed molecules that could lead to a breakthrough in bone repair, according to a report in this week's edition of the journal Science. The molecules hold promise for the development of a bonelike material to be used for bone fractures or in the treatment of bone cancer patients, and have implications for the regeneration of other tissues and organs.>

Molecule has potential to repair bones, scientists say
by Lee Bowman, Scripps Howard News Service
The Washington Times, Section: Part A, Nation, Page A7
November 23, 2001 (Friday, Final Edition)

Scientists at Northwestern University have designed molecules that mimic the function of natural scaffolding for human bones, opening the possibility of repairs and even regeneration of bones lost to cancer.>

Boning up on biology

by T. Andrew Taton
August 21, 2003

Interest in culturing cells in three dimensions has taken off in the past few years -- but when it comes to the basic tool of the trade, most researchers are still using 1980s technology.>

Science & Technology:
Mimicking the way nature grows bone

by Ron Dagani
Chemical & Engineering News
July 9, 2001

It used to be that scientists seeking to repair or restore human tissues would try any material at hand that seemed to offer some promise, regardless of how foreign it was to the human body. But as their understanding of biology and their skills in fashioning new materials have advanced, scientists have sought to emulate nature as much as possible. This has meant devising biomaterials that are not only biocompatible and biodegradable, but also nanostructured--because that's what nature does.>


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