CRN lab


The CRN lab is established in 2020 and is part of the Department of Molecules and Materials (MOLMAT) at University of Twente.

My name is Albert Wong, and I guide a team of reseachers in designing chemical reaction networks (CRNs) capbale of functions akin Artificial Intelligence.

I aim to create an environment that fosters creativity and enthusiasm for science. My core activities center around lecturing chemistry courses (among others, systems chemistry, nanochemistry, and physical organic chemistry) and leading our research in exploring the rich dynamics of CRNs. Besides, I (co-)organise PhD courses at the UT and (inter)national symposia/conferences, and build a network of young researchers as board of the Young Academy Twente.


My group hosts researchers with diverse backgrounds in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Computational Physics and Mathematics. Our current team consists of one postdoctoral researcher, four PhD and one master students. We are fascinated with the idea that chemical reaction networks operate in harmony to govern living systems. 

[photo; Team building event, Deventer, 2023]


Design chemical reaction networks (CRNs) capable of functions akin artificial intelligence.


We work on three synergistic research directions in the CRN lab and focus on how CRNs can i) memorize, ii) communicate, and iii) self-organize

Join uS?

Visit our vacancies page for possible interest.


February 5, 2024


Looking forward to welcome Pepijn de Vries, who will start his MSc on "Understanding and Controlling the stability of steady states in an enzymatic reaction network", working with Dmitrii.

January 18, 2024


Interview at NTR 'De nacht van', broadcasted on Radio 1: "Wil a chemical computer become our future?". Many thanks to Ruben R. Jacobson (chief editor), and Stijn Goosens (presentor, left on image) for hosting me. 
The interview can be found as video or podcast, with the latter also on Spotify.

January 5, 2024


Lieke Pieters started her MSc thesis on "Preparing students for Conceptueel Modelling in Chemical Sciences". Her research will be conducted from an educational perspective. 

December 28, 2023


Our paper (#12) in ChemSystemsChem is selected as Cover Art!

The image shows a microfluidic channel with multilayer polylysine surfaces, which provide the potential to bestow an acid-base equilibrium with the capacity of signal transduction. Read the full text of the Research Article at 10.1002/syst.202300030, and our cover profile at 10.1002/syst.202300052

Cover design by Niels van der Velde (University of Twente, NL)

December 14, 2023


Interview with C2W: "Uitzoomen en vooruitkijken: conceptueel modelleren in de klas" highlights our findings in establishing an evidenced-informed learning environment for conceptualizing new ideas! Thank you to Daniël Linzel for interviewing Albert Wong and Leonie Krab-Hüsken. 

December 4, 2023


Looking forward to welcome Thomas van Poppel, who will start his MSc on "Integrating the molecular design of CRNs with graph analyses", working with Everton, Dmitrii, and Clara.

November 27, 2023


Interview with UT News"Facilitating learning chemistry with conceptual modeling" highlights our recently published paper in Journal of Chemical Education. Thanks to Kees Wesselink-Schram for interviewing Albert Wong, Linlin Pei and Leonie Krab-Hüsken!

November 24, 2023. OUTREACH. Interview with C2W: "If you coat the inside of a microfluidic channel with poly-L-lysine, you can use it to influence signals in chemical reaction networks." A big thank you to Daniël Linzel for the nice words and for interviewing Albert Wong. 

November 13-17, 2023. EDUCATION. Our team joined the 2023 MNF Writing week, organized by Albert Wong, together with prof. J. Huskens and Dr. S. Lindhoud. A wonderful week full of creativity!

November 11, 2023


Our paper (#13) in Journal of Chemical Education is out! Albert and colleagues designed a new teaching method to establish an evidenced-informed learning environment for conceptualizing new ideas. This method is also applied to foster curiosity in the CRN lab. I enjoyed guiding this unique collaboration involving an education program director, education specialist, learning assistant and four researchers!

October 23, 2023


Our paper (#12) in ChemSystemsChem is out! Localized reactions provide the potential to bestow chemical reaction networks with the capacity of signal transduction. This work demonstrates that a microfluidic channel with polylysine-coated surfaces could delay an otherwise fast acid-base equilibrium. Control over the rates of protonation and deprotonation allows for molecular information processing. Many congratulations to Hazal for her first first-author paper. A big thank you to Dr. Jacopo Movilli, Dr. Sevil Sahin, Dmitrii Kriukov, and prof. Jurriaan Huskens for this great team effort!!

October 12, 2023. EDUCATION. Albert Wong and Leonie Krab-Hüsken at the "2023 UT Inspriatiedag" inspiring high-school teachers to use Systems Thinking in chemistry in their classes. 

October 11, 2023. ACADEMIC CULTURE. 2023 Iedereen Professor event, organized by the Young Academy Twente (wherein Albert Wong is board member) & TNW Faculty Club.

September 22, 2023


Congrats to Salma Ramon Carrasco graduated for obtaining her Msc degree (the MSc of the CRN lab!). A big thank you to Salma for her thesis "Rational design of a programmable hydrogel: from molecular to mechanical properties" which will spark a new research direction for our lab. We enjoyed working with Dr. J. Paez, co-supervisor, on this work.

September 14, 2023. SEMINARS & CONFERENCES. Albert Wong invited to deliver the opening talk of 2023 seminars at Life-Inspired Hybrid Materials, LIBER (2023, Espoo, FIN). A big thank you to Hang Zhang, as well as Olli Ikalla and Arri for hosting me at Aalto University in wonderful area of Espoo!

September 12, 2023. ACADEMIC CULTURE. Albert Wong in a public debate with prof. Tanja Bodnarouk on implementation of Recognition and Rewards at the UT. Thanks to Tanja for a great debat, Jeroen Jansen (chair R&R) for organising this event and Anna Heijker (Nderlands Debat Instituut) for leading the discussion. The aftermovie can be found here

September 6, 2023


Our paper (#11) with prof. Harutyunyan and others in Nature is out! We discovered that synthetic oscillatory CRNs can display functions beyond that of a pacemaker. This collaborative work combined simulations developed in the CRN lab, flow setup developed in Huck’s lab, and catalysts designed in Harutyunyan’ lab.

September 5, 2023


Taghi Moazzenzade graduated for his PhD, under the supervision of prof. S. Lemay and prof. J. Huskens. Having closed the chapter of his PhD, he is ready and excited to take on his next challenge in the CRN lab as PD, where he will examine how we can incorporate surface-driven CRNs based on DNA into our microfluidic setups.

September 1, 2023


First time Systems Chemistry (MSc course) will taught at the UT. Systems chemistry - a field that creates and studies networks of interacting molecules - emphasizes a molecular approach to conceptualize natural phenomena that can be encountered at various length scales. Here, case studies were provided to allow for discussions on the state-of-the-art in the domains of autonomous molecular materials, out-of-equilibrium chemistry, and more generally natural phenomena with an apparent complexity. Students gained a fundamental understanding in what makes chemistry in a living systems so very different from the chemistry we use in the laboratory. Consequently, they learned that the systems chemistry framework can enable them to disassemble a very broad range of scientific puzzles.