[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]

Assistant Professor
Organic and Materials Chemistry


Department of Chemistry
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9150

Office: CB342
Lab: CB370

Tel: (360) 650-3138
Fax: (360) 650-2826


Curriculum Vitae


B.S. Plastics Engineering Techonology and B.A. Chemistry, WWU, 2001.
Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 2006.
NIH Teaching Education and Critical Research Skills Postdoctoral Fellow, Tufts University, 2006-2007.
NIH Ruth Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow, Tufts University, 2007-2009.

Research Interests
Our research group is broadly interested in tailoring the molecular structure of conjugated organic polymers in order to control the fundamental properties of the bulk materials. Our polymers are designed, synthesized and tested for use in applications ranging from biomaterials to organic electronics. Conjugated polymers are of great interest as they are able to conduct electricity through their extended pi-system but are softer and more flexible than metals or other inorganic semiconductors such as silicon. Therefore, conducting polymers can offer distinct advantages when used in biological stimulation applications, as their mechanical properties can be tuned to match that of biological tissues leading to better integration and lower levels of tissue trauma. Likewise, replacing traditional materials with conducting polymers has led to the development of flexible and lightweight electronic displays and photovoltaic devices that would have otherwise been impossible to create.

Currently, Murphy group efforts are focused on the design and synthesis of conducting polymers and conducting polymer-biopolymer composites for use as artificial muscles, implantable electrodes and drug delivery vehicles. Undergraduate research students in our group gain experience in organic small molecule and polymer synthesis, chemical characterization techniques (FTIR, NMR, UV/vis, EDX, voltammetry) as well as physical characterization techniques (microscopy, mechanical and electrical properties). Students from a variety of majors including chemistry, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, and engineering have taken part in our research, and have pursued industrial or academic careers following graduation. For more information about joining our research group, please email Dr. Murphy.

Recent Publications
Cronin-Golomb, M.; Murphy, A.R.; Mondia, J.P.; Kaplan, D.L.; Omenetto, F.G."Optically induced birefringence and holography in silk." J. Poly. Sci. B: Poly. Phys. 2012, 50 (4), 257-262.

Tsioris, K.; Tilburey, G.E.; Murphy, A.R.; Domachuk, P.; Kaplan, D.L.; Omenetto, F.G. "Functionalized-Silk-Based Active Optofluidic Devices." Adv. Funct. Mater. 2010, 20(7), 1083-1089.

Murphy, A.R.; Kaplan, D.L. "Biomedical applications of chemically-modified silk fibroin." J. Mater. Chem. 2009, 19(36), 6443-6450.

Wenk, E.; Murphy, A.R.; Kaplan, D.L.; Meinel, L.; Merkle, H.P.; Uebersax, L. "The use of sulfonated silk fibroin derivatives to control binding, delivery and potency of FGF-2 in tissue regeneration." Biomaterials 2009, 31(6), 1403-1413.

Mauldin, C.E.; Puntambekar, K.; Murphy, A.R.; Liao, F.; Subramanian, V.; Frechet, J.M.J.; DeLongchamp, D.M.; Fischer, D.A.; Toney, M.F. "Solution Processible alpha, omega-Distyryl Oligothiophene Semiconductors with Enhanced Environmental Stability" Chem. Mater. 2009, 21(9), 1927-1938.

Murphy, A. R.; St. John, P.; Kaplan, D. L. "Modification of Silk Fibroin Using Diazonium Coupling Chemistry and the Effects on hMSC Proliferation and Differentiation." Biomaterials 2008, 29(19), 2829-2838.

Back to Top

[an error occurred while processing this directive]