Dr Buddhapriya Chakrabarti

Senior Lecturer in Biological Physics

Contact details

Group web page

Biological Physics Group

General Summary

My research interests involve the study of soft and biological matter using techniques of equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical physics, continuum mechanics (including classical field theories) and coarse-grained simulations. My primary scientific goal involves understanding the interplay of geometry, mechanics, entropy, and charge in dictating physical properties of complex adaptive matter. I have used these techniques to understand “rheological chaos” in wormlike micelles, study ribbon curling under elastoplastic deformations, unravel mechanics of DNA proteins and other biopolymers. My most recent interest is on studying migration of small molecules in complex mixtures.

At present I have openings for two PhD studentships and two PDRAs. My current PhD student (Mr. Salvatore Croce) is finishing up his PhD from Durham University.


PhD (2004) Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore)

Academic career

Senior Lecturer (2017-, Department of Physics, University of Sheffield)

Senior Lecturer (2015-2017, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University)

Lecturer (2009-2015, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University)

Postdoctoral research fellow (2007-2008, Department of Biomathematics, University of California, Los Angeles)

Postdoctoral research fellow (2005-2007, Department of Physics, Harvard University)

Postdoctoral research associate (2003-2005, 2008-2009, Department of Physics, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Amherst)


Research Interests:

  • Theoretical Soft Matter Physics and Biological Physics

  • Non-equilibrium Statistical Physics

  • Continuum mechanics and Classical field theories

  • Mathematical Physiology


  • PHY 339 Statistical Physics

Professional Activities
  • Member EPSRC Peer Review College


Recent Key Publications:

  • J. Alageshan, B. Chakrabarti, Y. Hatwalne (2017) “Equilibrium of fluid membranes endowed with orientational order”, Phys. Rev. E 95, 042806-042813.

  • J. Alageshan, B. Chakrabarti, Y. Hatwalne (2017) “Elasticity of smectic liquid crystals with in-plane orientational order, and dispiration asymmetry”, Phys. Rev. E 95, 022701-022708.

  • J. Krawczyk, S. Croce, T. C. B. McLeish, B. Chakrabarti (2016) “Elasticity dominated surface segregation of small molecules in polymer mixtures”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 208301-208304.

  • C. Prior. J. Moussou, B. Chakrabarti, O. E. Jensen, A. Juel, (2016) “Ribbon curling via stress relaxation in thin polymer films”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 112 (7), 1719-1724.

  • M. Jones, D. Huang, B. Chakrabarti, C. Groves (2016) “Relating Molecular Morphology to Charge Mobility in Semi-Crystalline Conjugated Polymers, J. Phys. Chem. C 120, 4240-4250.

  • D. Tapp, J. M. Taylor, A. S. Lubansky, C. D. Bain, B. Chakrabarti (2014) “Theoretical analysis for the optical deformation of emulsion droplets”, Optics Express 22, 4523-4538.

  • A. Mishra, A. S. Panwar, B. Chakrabarti (2014) “Equilibrium Morphologies and Force extension Behavior for polymers with hydrophobic patches: Role of disorder”, Macromol. Theor. Sim. 23, 266-278.

  • M. K. Mitra, P. R. Taylor, C. J. Hutchison, T. C. B. McLeish, B. Chakrabarti (2014) “Delayed self-regulation leads to novel states in epigenetic landscapes”, , J. Roy. Soc. Int. 11, 20140706-20140713.

Open Positions Two PDRA positions:

Molecular Migration in Complex Mixtures: Towards a Predictive Design of Formulated Products

  • EPSRC PDRA (Duration 4 years starting April 2017)
  • Industrial PDRA (Duration 3 years starting April 2018)

link: http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/P007864/1

Please contact Dr. Chakrabarti for more details regarding the positions.


Many industrial formulations that form part of our daily lives are complex mixtures. These include food, hygiene and laundry products, paints, etc. In many of these systems small molecules migrating to and across interfaces (that are either exposed to atmosphere or buried in bulk) leads to undesired effects. These might include adhesive loss in hygiene products, poor flavour perception, and release of undesired chemicals to the atmosphere.

This project is aimed at developing a software toolkit for understanding small molecule migration in complex fluid mixtures that have many ingredients.

Our ambition is to go far beyond the very simple model systems for which molecular migration has previously been characterised, and to address the complexities that arise when migration occurs in products that have structure, or are evolving with time. This brings fascinating but subtle challenges which are not only stimulating fundamental problems, but underpin 'real world' issues such as shelf-life of detergent formulations, durability of coatings and even how our food tastes when we chew it.

We have developed this proposal in close collaboration with 3 industrial partners (P&G, AkzoNobel and Mondelez) who represent three very different sectors of the consumer goods industry, yet have in common the need to control migration in structured products. Despite working on entirely different product ranges, scientists in these companies share a remarkable range of problems that can be addressed by answering 3 key questions:

Q1. How does the depth profile of wetting layers and subsurface concentrations depend on bulk phase composition and molecular interactions?

Q2. What is the surface structure resulting from lateral migration?

Q3. What are the timescales and mechanisms associated with migration and formation of surface structures?

We will tackle these questions for a variety of carefully defined model formulations to isolate influences of polarity, charge, hydrophobicity, elasticity and deformation, in a series of fundamental studies. The project will deliver fundamental science knowledge along with a predictive model toolkit, ready to be embedded in the research programmes of soft matter scientists and technologists.

We will work with our industrial partners throughout the project to ensure successful implementation of these models to allow them to exploit this work in their R&D programmes, and make the deliverables available to wider downstream users through a supported software website and the National Formulation Centre.

Solving these problems will pave the way to efficient formulations that offer reduced waste improved performance and stability in consumer goods.

Two PhD positions:

  • PhD position in Understanding chromatin organisation in cell nucleus: multiscale approaches to stem cell Biology (Duration 3.5 years starting 2017)


  • PhD position in Modelling structure function relationships in bacterial cell membranes, towards a mechanistic understanding of antimicrobial resistance (Duration 3.5 years starting 2017)