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Research Interests

Research in the Stupp group integrates chemistry with materials science, biology, and medicine. The overarching interest of the group is the development of self-assembling organic materials, focusing on functions relevant to energy and medicine. In the area of energy science, the laboratory’s interests include, materials for solar photovoltaics, catalytic materials that can synthesize solar fuels, supramolecular ferroelectrics for non-volatile memories, and artificial muscle materials for inter-conversion of chemical and mechanical energy. In the area of medicine, the Stupp laboratory is interested in biomaterials for regenerative medicine of the brain, spinal cord, bone, cartilage and muscle, and also on targeted systemic drug delivery using nanostructures for cancer and cardiovascular applications. The organic structures of interest in both areas include, visible light absorbing chromophores, organometallic catalysts, electron donors and acceptors, DNA, peptides, glycopeptides, and polymers, among others. The group is organized into three sub-groups that meet weekly to discuss progress: Self-Assembly, Energy Materials, and Biomaterials. Research activities include, molecular synthesis, characterization of structure with a broad suite of microscopies and synchrotron x-ray scattering, measurement of materials properties, computer simulations, construction of solar cell and other electronic devices, molecular and cell biology, and in vivo studies of the efficacy of materials and nanostructures in biomedical applications.

Group members in the self-assembly subgroup focus on fundamental supramolecular chemistry and materials science aimed at learning how to program molecules to assemble into functional materials. The systems studied cover the broad range of molecular structures and functions of interest to the Stupp laboratory.

The energy materials sub-group is currently focused on materials for solar photovoltaic devices and hydrogels that can harvest light and use catalysts in their three dimensional structure to generate solar fuels such as hydrogen or to reduce carbon dioxide. An important area of interest in this sub-group are hybrid organic-inorganic materials for energy applications, including supercapacitors and dye-sensitized solar cells.

The biomaterials subgroup focuses on the development of bioactive materials for regenerative medicine that can directly signal cells. The chemical systems include self-assembling peptide amphiphiles, DNA nanotechnology, and biopolymers to design solid scaffolds or injectable nanostructures to create a bioactive artificial extracellular matrix. The targets include spinal cord regeneration to avoid paralysis, treatments for Parkinson’s disease, regeneration in the heart after infarct, and strategies to regenerate muscle, bone, and cartilage, among others. Other work in this sub-group focuses on nanostructures for use in systemic targeted therapies.

Education/Academic qualification

Materials Science and Engineering, PhD, Northwestern University

Chemistry, BS, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

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Grants 2000 2023

Research Output 1975 2019

Sonic hedgehog regulation of cavernous nerve regeneration and neurite formation in aged pelvic plexus

Dobbs, R., Kalmanek, E., Choe, S., Harrington, D. A., Stupp, S., McVary, K. T. & Podlasek, C. A., Feb 1 2019, In : Experimental Neurology. 312, p. 10-19 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hypogastric Plexus
Nerve Regeneration

Anisotropic contraction of fiber-reinforced hydrogels

Liu, S., Stupp, S. & Olvera de la Cruz, M., Jan 1 2018, In : Soft Matter. 14, 37, p. 7731-7739 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citations

Aryl hydrocarbon receptor antagonists mitigate the effects of dioxin on critical cellular functions in differentiating human osteoblast-like cells

Yun, C., Katchko, K. M., Schallmo, M. S., Jeong, S., Yun, J., Chen, C. H., Weiner, J. A., Park, C., George, A., Stupp, S., Hsu, W. K. & Hsu, E. L., Jan 11 2018, In : International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 19, 1, 225.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors

Chromophore Dipole Directs Morphology and Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation

Weingarten, A. S., Dannenhoffer, A. J., Kazantsev, R. V., Sai, H., Huang, D. & Stupp, S., Apr 18 2018, In : Journal of the American Chemical Society. 140, 15, p. 4965-4968 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Correction to: Tissue-factor targeted peptide amphiphile nanofibers as an injectable therapy to control hemorrhage (ACS Nano (2016) 10:1 (899-909) DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b06025)

Morgan, C. E., Dombrowski, A. W., Rubert Peŕez, C. M., Bahnson, E. S. M., Tsihlis, N. D., Jiang, W., Jiang, Q., Vercammen, J. M., Prakash, V. S., Pritts, T. A., Stupp, S. & Kibbe, M. R., Nov 27 2018, In : ACS nano. 12, 11, 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Molecular structure