Programming (in) Self-assembly and Systems Chemistry

Our work is driven by understanding and learning from nature how its chemistry works so we synthesise new systems and materials that do complex tasks but outside the boundaries that life puts on those task. This is the field of bio-mimetic chemistry. In our case, we are particularly interested in how molecules interact – which is Supramolecular Chemistry – to program the formation of complex self-assembled functional systems – the realm of Systems Chemistry.


I will in this talk give a few examples of our work within this area, ranging from relatively simple host-guest chemistry to complex self-assembled materials that are capable of support cell growth in three dimensions in vitro. I will also discuss actual programming (!) challenges and solutions in relation to creating better tools for data analysis in these studies and chemistry as whole. Finally, I will outline our next steps in making even more complex functional systems, by returning to what is perhaps the greatest questions in chemistry – what was the origin of life? The University of New South Wales (UNSW)