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Surita Bhatia

Staff Scientist | Materials Synthesis and Characterization


  • Rheology
  • Complex Fluids and Colloidal Dispersions
  • Polymeric Hydrogels
  • Dynamic and Static Light Scattering
  • Soft Materials for Delivery and Biomaterials Applications

CFN Research Activities

Complex fluids and soft materials are ubiquitous, with applications ranging from the everyday (e.g., shampoos, cosmetics, lotions, paints, and foods) to high-technology products for biomedical and energy applications (e.g., pharmaceutical formulations, wound dressings, advanced coatings, biofuels, and flow batteries). The overarching goal of our program is to connect the structure of complex fluids and soft materials to their phase behavior, transport characteristics, and flow behavior. Our group distinguishes itself by combining structural characterization techniques that cover a wide range of length scales, such as ultra-small-angle scattering (USAS), with rheological and transport measurements.  Some highlights of our program include creation of synthetic biomaterials that mimic microstructures found in natural tissues; development of gels with improved oxygen delivery for wound healing;  discovery of “re-entrant behavior” in disk-shaped dispersions, whereby the behavior of dispersions at high volume fractions can be changed from a gel to a liquid; and development of techniques to produce large nanoparticle clusters, relevant to applications in printing, biosensors, and drug delivery.


  • B.S.: University of Delaware
    • Major: Chemical Engineering; Minor: Mathematics
  • PhD: Princeton University

Professional Appointments

  • Postdoctoral Research, CNRS/Rhodia Complex Fluids Laboratory, 2000
  • Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2001-2012

Selected Publications & Research Highlights

A. K. Atmuri, G. A. Peklaris, S. Kishore, S. R. Bhatia. “A Re-entrant Glass Transition in Colloidal Disks with Adsorbing Polymer.” Soft Matter 2012, 8, 8965-8971.

J. Cui, M. A. Lackey, A. E. Madkour, E. M. Saffer, D. M. Griffin, S. R. Bhatia, A. J. Crosby, G. N. Tew. “Synthetically Simple, Highly Resilient Hydrogels.” Biomacromolecules 2012, 13, 584-588.

E. Saffer, G. N. Tew, S. R. Bhatia. “Poly(lactic acid)-poly(ethylene oxide) Block Copolymers: New Directions in Self-Assembly and Biomedical Applications.” Current Medicinal Chemistry 2011, 18, 5676-5686.

S. K. Agrawal, N. Sanabria-Delong, S. K. Bhatia, G. N. Tew, S. R. Bhatia. “Energetics of Association in Poly(lactic acid)-based Hydrogels with Crystalline and Nanoparticle-Polymer Junctions.” Langmuir 2010, 26, 17330–17338.

S. K. Agrawal, N. Sanabria-Delong, G. N. Tew, S. R. Bhatia.  “Nanoparticle-Reinforced Associative Network Hydrogels.”  Langmuir 2008, 24, 13148–13154.

S. K. Agrawal, N. Sanabria-DeLong, G. N. Tew, S. R. Bhatia.  “Structural Characterization of PLA-PEO-PLA Solutions and Hydrogels: Crystalline vs amorphous PLA domains.”  Macromolecules, 2008, 41, 1774-1784.

G. N. Tew, N. Sanabria-DeLong, S. K. Agrawal, and S. R. Bhatia.  “New Properties from PLA-PEO-PLA Hydrogels.”  Soft Matter, 2005, 1, 253-258.

S. R. Bhatia.  "Ultra-Small-Angle Scattering from Complex Fluids."  Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science, 2005, 9, 404-411.