Northwestern University Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phillip B. Messersmith Research Group

Polyphenol CoatingsPolyphenol CoatingsMussel-Inspired “Glue” For Surgical Repair And Cancer Drug DeliveryAdvancing Fetal SurgeryNanomedicineNegative Swelling Mussel-Inspired Adhesive HydrogelsCovalent Gels Fortified by Fe-Catechol Coordination

Polyphenol Coatings

STICKING POWER OF PLANT POLYPHENOLS USED IN NEW COATINGS: Compounds found in red wine and green tea stick to anything, retain useful properties

Polyphenol Coatings

Colorless Multifunctional Coatings Inspired by Polyphenols Found in Tea, Chocolate, and Wine

Mussel-Inspired “Glue” For Surgical Repair And Cancer Drug Delivery

Northwestern’s Phillip Messersmith creates materials that mimic adhesives of marine mussels for medical applications.

Advancing Fetal Surgery

Phillip Messersmith is synthesizing polymers that mimic the sticky proteins that mussels secrete to develop adhesives that would work as a sealant in surgery.


Two recent papers describe polydopamine-assisted surface functionalization and targeting of gold nanorods for photothermal ablation of cancer cells and bacteria.

Negative Swelling Mussel-Inspired Adhesive Hydrogels

New adhesive exploits catechol derivatized block copolymer to yield negative swelling tissue adhesives.

Covalent Gels Fortified by Fe-Catechol Coordination

Mussel-inspired processing leads to insight into the role of iron in mussel byssus and in bioinspired hydrogels.

The Messersmith Group has moved to the University of California, Berkeley!

Prospective graduate student applications are welcome. 


News: Messersmith group research covered in perspective on biomimetic tissue adhesives published in Nature Medicine

News: Mussel inspired adhesives for fetal membrane repair reported by PBS Newshour

News: Fetal-membrane glue and negative swelling gels featured on ScienceNow

News: Dr. Messersmith will receive the 2013 Clemson Award for Basic Research from the Society for Biomaterials at its annual meeting in April

Messersmith's Group

Messersmith Research Group