Bioinspired Complex Systems Based on Macromolecules and Supramolecules

The Lin Group studies bio-inspired macromolecules and materials. In nature, there are many examples in which the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. We are very curious on the mechanisms and implications of such cooperative behaviors, especially at the molecular and macromolecular levels. We believe that understanding the molecular cooperativity, and incorporating the concept into the design of synthetic and hybrid macromolecules will lead to the development of new functional materials with unprecedented collective properties. We use the techniques of polymer synthesis, macromolecular characterization, physical chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry as tools to study and manipulate various macromolecular systems. Our current research involves in-depth understanding of cooperative polymerization mechanisms in covalent and non-covalent systems, material properties of complex macromolecules containing synthetic polyamino acids, action mechanisms of one- or two-dimensional complexes of enzymatic units with interactive cooperativity, and development of highly functional protein-based hybrid materials.