Zhibin Guan

Picture of Zhibin Guan
Professor, Chemistry
School of Physical Sciences
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
Professor, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
PH.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1994
OTH, Peking University
Phone: (949) 824-5172
Fax: (949) 824-2210
Email: zguan@uci.edu
University of California, Irvine
5042D Frederick Reines Hall
Mail Code: 2025
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Organic, Biological, and Macromolecular Materials Chemistry
Academic Distinctions
2016 JSPS Invitation Fellowship (long-term) for Research, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
2008 Fellow, the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)
2006 Humboldt Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
2005 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
2005 UCI Research Innovation Award
2003 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research
2002 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
2002 3M New Faculty Award
2001 Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award
2001 DuPont Young Professor Award
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1994-1995
Senior Research Scientist, DuPont Central Research, 1995-2000
Joined UCI Faculty in September 2000
Research Abstract
The Guan group research is focused on the broadly defined organic, biological, and macromolecular materials chemistry. We combine organic and biological synthesis, facilitated by catalysis and biomimetic design, to construct functional macromolecules of controlled molecular structures and supramolecular architectures. We are interested in a spectrum of topics in materials chemistry ranging from the synthesis, high order structural control, and biological functions of macromolecular materials. Three common themes - catalysis, non-covalent interaction, and biomimetic - pervade in our research program. The current projects relate to one or more of the following three interconnected research foci: discovery of new catalytic methods for efficient synthesis of macromolecules, biomimetic design of macromolecular architectures, and development of functional biomaterials for biomedical applications.

Catalytic Synthesis of Macromolecules
We are developing atom economic synthetic methods for constructing complex and functional macromolecules from simple building blocks. A key aspect of this project is the discovery of new transition metal catalysts, which involves design and synthesis of novel organic ligands and organometallic complexes, investigation of their reaction kinetics and mechanisms, and finally studies of their catalytic polymerization properties. Based on the efficient catalytic methods, we are synthesizing complex and functional macromolecular materials for various applications including drug and gene delivery, multivalent bioconjugation, and tissue regeneration.

Biomimetic Structural Design
One major contrast between natural and synthetic macromolecules is that the latter usually lack well-defined high order structures. Following Nature’s strategy, we are introducing weak molecular forces into synthetic macromolecules to guide the formation of high order structures. Through programming covalent and subtle non-covalent molecular forces, we are creating a plethora of biomimetic materials showing dynamic, responsive, shape-memory, and self-healing properties. To elucidate the molecular origin for material properties and build fundamental structure-property correlations, we are also carrying out various materials property studies including single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) investigation on individual polymer chains using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Ultimately, insight into the relation between the single-molecule properties of materials and their performance at macroscopic level will guide us to rationally design advanced materials with desired properties.

Functional Biomaterials
Built upon efficient synthetic methods and biomimetic concepts, we further design functional biomaterials for biomedical applications. For example, using the most abundant natural monomers such as saccharides and amino acids, we have developed a family of saccharide-peptide hybrid copolymers that are biodegradable, non-toxic, non-immunogenic, and highly functional. Currently, we are pursuing two directions of biomedical studies with our new biomaterials. In one study, we are developing stimuli-responsive nanogels as vectors for efficient siRNA delivery. In another direction, we are designing saccharide-peptide based hydrogels as biomimetic extracellular matrices (ECMs) to control stem cell differentiation.

For further information about the Guan Group, see the Guan Group Homepage.
Available Technologies
“Structure-Based Design of Dendritic Peptide Bolaamphiphiles for siRNA Delivery” Zeng, H.; Johnson, M. E. ; Oldenhuis, N.; Tiambeng, T.; Guan, Zhibin. ACS Central Science 2015, 1, 303-312.
“Malleable and Self-Healing Covalent Polymer Networks through Tunable Dynamic Boronic Ester Bonds” Cromwell, O.; Chung, J.; Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 6492.
“Mechanically Robust and Self-Healable Superlattice Nanocomposites by Self-Assembly of Single-Component "Sticky" Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles” Williams, G.; Ishige, R.; Cromwell, O.; Chung, J.; Takahara, A.; Guan, Zhibin. Adv. Mater. 2015, 27, 3934.
"Control of hierarchical polymer mechanics with bioinspired metal-coordination dynamics" Grindy, S.; Learsch, R.; Mozhdehi, D.; Cheng, J.; Barrett, D.; Guan, Z.; Messersmith, P.; Holten-Andersen, N. Nat. Mater. 2015, 14, 1210.
“Direct correlation of single-molecule properties with bulk mechanical performance for the biomimetic design of polymers” Chung, J.; Kushner, A. M.; Weisman, A. C.; Guan, Zhibin. Nat. Mater. 2014, 13, 1055.
“Self-Healing Multiphase Polymers via Dynamic Metal-Ligand Interactions” Mozhdehi, D.; Ayala, S.; Cromwell, O.; Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 16128.
“From Racemic Alcohols to Enantiopure Amines: Ru-Catalyzed Diastereoselective Amination” Oldenhuis, N. J.; Dong, V. M.; Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 12548.
“Multifunctional Dendronized Peptide Polymer Platform for Safe and Effective siRNA Delivery” Zeng, H.; Little, H. C.; Tiambeng, T. N.; Williams, G. A.; Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 4962.
“Maintaining Functional Islets through Encapsulation in an Injectable Saccharide-Peptide Hydrogel” Liao, S. W.; Rawson, J.; Omori, K.; Ishiyama, K.; Mozhdehi, D.; Oancea, A.; Ito, T.; Guan, Z.; Mullen, Y. Biomaterials 2013, 34, 3984.
“Olefin Metathesis for Effective Polymer Healing via Dynamic Exchange of Strong Carbon-Carbon Double Bonds” Lu, Y.-X.; Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 14226.
“Making Insoluble Polymer Networks Malleable via Olefin Methathesis” Lu, Y.-X.; Tournilhac, F.; Leibler, L.; Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 8424.
“Multiphase Design of Autonomic Self-Healing Thermoplastic Elastomers” Chen, Y.; Kushner, A. M.; Williams, G. A.; Guan, Zhibin. Nat. Chem. 2012, 4, 467.
“Modular Design in Natural and Biomimetic Soft Materials” Kushner, A. M.; Guan, Zhibin. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 9026.
“Direct Synthesis of Polyamides via Catalytic Dehydrogenation of Diols and Diamines” Zeng, H.; Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 1159.
“Computational and Single-Molecule Force Studies of a Macro Domain Protein Reveal a Key Molecular Determinant for Mechanical Stability” Guzman, D.; Randall, A. Z.; Baldi, P.; Guan, Zhibin. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2010, 107, 1989.
“A Biomimetic Modular Polymer with Tough and Adaptive Properties” Kushner, A. M.; Vossler, J.; Williams, G. A., and Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 8766.
“A Mechanistic Investigation of the Unusually Efficient Copolymerization Behavior with Polar Olefins for the Cyclophane-alpha-Diimine Based Pd (II) Catalyst” Popeney, C.; Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 12384.
“Cycloaddition-Promoted Self-assembly of a Polymer into Well-Defined beta-Sheet and Hierarchical Nanofibrils” Yu, T. B.; Bai, Z.; Guan, Zhibin. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 1097.
“De Novo Design of Saccharide-Peptide Hydrogels as Synthetic Scaffolds for Tailored Cell Responses” Liao, S. W.; Yu, T.-B.; Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 17638.
“Biomimetic Design of Reversibly Unfolding Cross-linker to Enhance Mechanical Properties of 3D Network Polymers” Kushner, A. M.; Gabuchian, V.; Johnson, E. G. Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 14110.
“Efficient Incorporation of Polar Comonomers in Copolymerizations with Ethylene Using a Cyclophane-based Pd (II) alpha-Diimine Catalyst” Popeney, C.; Camacho, D. and Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 10062.
“A General Strategy for Nanoparticle Dispersion” Mackay, M. E.; Tuteja, A.; Duxbury, P. M.; Hawker, C. J.; Van Horn, B.; Guan, Zhibin; Chen, G.; Krishnan, R.S. Science, 2006, 311, 1740.
“Saccharide-Peptide Hybrid Copolymers as New Biomaterials” Metzke, M.; Maiti, S.; O’Connor, N.; Guan, Zhibin. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2005, 44, 6529.
"Modular Domain Structure - A New Biomimetic Strategy for Advanced Polymer Properties" Guan, Zhibin; Roland, J. T.; Bai, J.; Ma, S.; McIntire, T.; Nguyen, M. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 2058.
"Cyclophane-Based Highly Active Late-Transition-Metal Catalyst for Ethylene Polymerization" Camacho, D.; Salo, E. V.; Ziller, J. W.; Guan, Zhibin. Angew. Chem.; Int. Ed. Engl. 2004, 43, 1821.
"Chain Walking: A New Strategy to Control Polymer Topology", Guan, Zhibin; Cotts, P. M.; McCord, E. F. and McLain, S. J. Science 1999, 283,2059.
Nation Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Army Research Laboratory (ARO).
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