UTFacultiesTNWChemical Reaction Networks (CRN)

Chemical Reaction Networks (CRN)

The fast pace by which machine learning advances has exposed the upper limits of conventional silicon-based computers. Alternative computing paradigms that mimic the dynamical character of the brain are urgently needed. While many researchers propose novel brain-inspired paradigms, they are confined by the limits of their discipline.


An interdisciplinary research group, and host researchers with backgrounds in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Computational Physics and Mathematics. Please visit our Teams page for more information.

At the University of Twente, we are part of the Department of Molecules and Materials (MOLMAT) and the the Research center for Brain-Inspired Nano Systems (BRAINS), and we collaborate with the reseach groups; Molecular NanoFabrication (MnF), Mathematics of Operations Research


Is to create specialized chemical computers, using chemical reaction networks (CRNs). Molecules are inherently dynamic in nature and, therefore, are an obvious choice for creating intelligent systems that may sense, adapt, and learn. We aim to provide a foundation for the development of fundamentally different hardware and software architectures, based on non-binary, non-linear, and non-electric properties intrinsic to networks of chemical reactions.

OUR approach

Centers around exploring and demonstrating the operating principles in networks of interacting molecules under out-of-equilibrium conditions: We 

Design and control
chemical feedback loops

‘reactive’ microfluidic devices

CRNs into mathematical structures

to be used as 
in-memory computing units

to enable 
chemical communication

to enable 
programmable chemical functions


26-06-2022: Albert Wong and Jacopo Movilli represeted our team at the GRC conference on Systems Chemistry in Maine. Thanks to GRC for this wonderful opportunity to share our research (through a research and poster presentation by Jacopo), contribute to this community (panel discussion with Albert among others), meet our peersWe look forward to 2024 (where Albert is a also elected as the organiser of the next GRS)!

22-06-2022: Dmitrii Kriukov wins a poster award for his contribution at the 1st Münster Symposium on Intelligent Matter. Many congratulations on your first award! 

20-05-2022: Yanna Kraakman will join our team from Spetember. She obtained her M.Sc. in Mathematics (cum laude) at the University of Twente, and has a background in Game and Graph theory. "Graphs are in my opinion one of the most elegant structures to model relations between objects", and she will examine how to model chemical reactions with hypergraphs in her PhD. 

13-05-2022: Éverton Fernandes da Cunha will join our team from October. He obtained his M.Sc. in Computational Physics at the Institute of Physics of São Carlos, (IFSC), University of São Paulo, (USP), and has a special interest in Complex Networls. Éverton will formulate the complexity indicators underlying synthetic chemical reaction networks, and use them to translate CRNs into mathematical models.

29-03-2022: Albert Wong joins Wim van Saarloos (former president KNAW) on stage in the Studium Generale discussion on "The future of Dutch science". 

25-03-2022: "History dependence in Chemical Reaction Networks". We recently published our first paper: 'History dependence in a chemical reaction network enables dynamic switching’ in Small. Our work is also highlighted in UT News: 'Rekenen met slimme chemie die kan onthouden'. 

02-03-2022: Open Competition M grant (660 kEUR) awarded to Albert Wong Clara Stegehuis. In this project "Capturing Higher-order Interactions in Chemical Reaction Networks", we combine the design of chemical reaction networks with probability analysis of random graphs to create a joint experimental and theoretical perspective on network complexity. “Can we use chemical reactions to model real-world network processes such as epidemics and cascading failures?” Our work is also highlighted in U-Today

08-12-2021: Interview in UT Featured Scientists highlights Wong's current research.

"Can we compute with molecules?"

19-04-2021: Two US patents have recently been published under the Patent Coorperation Treaty (PCT). The publications on i) storage, and ii) modification of information using mixtures of molecules are registered in the Patentscope database of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

10-02-2021: Hazal Koyuncu will join our group as a Ph. D. student. She obtained her M.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering at Prague University of Chemistry and Technology in Czech Republic. Looking forward to see her in April and strengthen our team with her research experience in microfluidics and microscopic techniques.

05-11-2020: Veni grant awarded to Albert Wong. In this research, he proposed to lay the foundation for novel molecular computing strategies to predict dynamics in complex systems. Please see Press Releases from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, NWO, and University of Twente for a summary of my research proposal.

01-08-2020: Albert Wong is part of The Center for Brain-Inspired Nano Systems (BRAINS). This center comprises PI from various disciplines, ranging from computer science, artificial intelligence to neuroscience, and aims to develop efficient hardware for information processing. 

01-08-2020: Dmitry Kryukov will join our group as a Ph. D. student. He graduated for his M.Sc. degree in Chemistry at the Moscow State University (MSU) in Russia. Looking forward to see him in September!

01-07-2020: Wong's Research Lab is a new group embedded in the Department of Molecules and Materials of the faculty of Science and Technology.