Sergei Sheiko

Sergei Sheiko

George A. Bush, Jr. Distinguished Professor

   Caudill Laboratories 157
  Group Website
  Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Tissue-Adaptive Materials, Programmable Materials Design, and Reconfigurable Polymer Networks

Research Synopsis

Materials science strives for intelligent soft materials that are able to sense, process, and adapt to their environment. Applications range from tissue engineering and microelectronics to renewable energy and climate change.

Within this broad area of research, we are particularly interested in the programmable design of tissue-mimetic materials for biomedical devices, soft robotics, and wearable electronics. We want to develop macromolecules that self-assemble to elastomers and gels that precisely replicate the mechanics of living tissues ranging from brain to skin. Unlike conventional trial-and-error experimentation with chemical formulations, our approach is based on encoding materials properties in molecular architecture. In line with artificial intelligence, the design-by-architecture approach enables the efficient synthesis of well-defined materials with predictable properties that can be adjusted on demand for customizable applications, particularly personalized medicine. We are currently developing chemistry for minimally invasive injection and insertion of non-leaching implants to the human body followed by an adaptive matching to the surrounding tissue mechanics. This platform can be readily extended to 3D printing, injection molding of biomedical devices, and waste-free plastics upcycling.

Professional Background

Fellow, American Physical Society, 2010, Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001-present, Habilitation - University of Ulm, Germany, 2001, Postdoctoral Fellow - University of Twente, The Netherlands, 1991-1993, PhD - Institute of Chemical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 1991, BS - Moscow Physico-Technical Institute, 1986.

Research Group

News & Publications

Here, we show that brush elastomers made by ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of norbornene-terminated poly(dimethylsiloxane) macromonomers are less extensible than brush elastomers with the methacrylate backbone yet not as extensible (λmax) as predicted by the strain-stiffening parameter (β) derived from fitting the experimental stress–strain curves.


Herein, we leverage the brush-like polymer architecture to design and administer minimally invasive injectable elastomers that cure in vivo into leachable-free implants with mechanical properties matching the surrounding tissue.