The University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Anthony Dinsmore


We study the statistical mechanics of soft matter: colloids, lipid-bilayer vesicles, emulsions, nanoparticle suspensions and other squishy things. Our experiments probe the relationships among inter-particle forces, structure, and dynamics of many-bodied systems -- relationships that are central to research in condensed-matter physics. We also apply this fundamental understanding to develop materials at the nanometer scale. Self-assembled materials have truly unique mechanical, optical and electronic properties with applications in nanotechnology and biomedical engineering.

Current Research
We focus on the behavior of nanoparticles and proteins on fluid interfaces, including lipid bilayer membranes and interfaces between immiscible fluids (such as on the surfaces of oil droplets in water). In both of these systems, bound particles or proteins can deform the interface, which can lead to attraction or repulsion between the particles or proteins. In the context of lipid membranes, we study the binding of proteins in the BAR family, which are part of the endocytic pathway; we seek to understand how the shape, composition, and tension of the lipid membrane modify the protein binding and in-plane assembly and thereby control function. Related experiments probe binding, in-plane assembly, and trans-migration of nanoparticles through membranes with the goal of developing new responsive materials. In the context of fluid-fluid interfaces, we study the binding and assembly of nanoparticles with the goal of developing new materials with applications ranging from oil-spill clean-up to printing of low-cost analytical chemical devices.

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Academic Background

  • PhD University of Pennsylvania (1997)
Sarah Zuraw-Weston, Derek A. Wood, Ian K. Torres, YiWei Lee, Li-Sheng Wang , Ziwen Jiang, Guillermo R. Lazaro, ShiYu Wang, Avital A. Rodal, Michael F. Hagan, Vincent M. Rotello, and A. D. Dinsmore, "Nanoparticles Binding to Lipid Membranes: from Vesicle-Based Gels to Vesicle Inversion and Destruction," (submitted, 2019; under review).
Geoffray Leriche, Arash Manafirad, Steven Nguyen, Nia Bell, Joseph P. Patterson, Sankaran Thayumanavan, Jerry Yang, A. D. Dinsmore and Nathan C. Gianneschi, "Water Permeability and Elastic Properties of an Archaea Inspired Lipid Synthesized by Click Chemistry," Chem. Mater. 30, 3618-3622 (2018).
Wei Hong, Jing Zhou, Mandakini Kanungo, Nancy Jia, A. D. Dinsmore, "Wax Spreading in Paper under Controlled Pressure and Temperature, Langmuir 34, 432-441 (2018).
J. B. Hutchison, A. P.K. K. Karunanayake Mudiyanselage, R. M. Weis, A. D. Dinsmore, "The Role of Osmotically-induced Tension in Binding of N-BAR to Lipid Vesicles," Soft Matter 12, 2465-2472 (2016).
A. M. Barnes, A. D. Dinsmore, "Heterogeneity of Surface Potential in Contact Electrification under Ambient Conditions: a comparison of pre- and post-contact states," J. Electrostatics 80, 76-81 (2016).
N. Senbil, W. He, V. Demery, A. D. Dinsmore, "Effect of Interface Shape on Advancing and Receding Fluid-Contact Angles around Spherical Particles," Soft Matter (Communication) 11, 4999-5003 (2015).
Contact Info

Department of Physics
404 Hasbrouck
North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

(413) 545-3786