Madhumitha Dhanasekaran, Ph.D.

Research Scientists

Research Assistant


Research Interests

My research focused on the rheological properties of proteins/polymers in solutions and colloidal clusters at interfaces, as well as the interactions of nanoparticles with protein colloids at Langmuir surfaces. My expertise extends to analyzing various types of interactions such as protein-protein, lipid-protein, and protein-ionic liquid interactions both in solution and at interfaces.
My research interest also involves studying biomimetic cell membranes using liposomes, giant vesicles and supported lipid bilayers. Additionally, I have experience in understanding the mechanism of formation of nano-colloids and their applications as surface coatings and thin films.
Evaluating surface coatings of protein and protein polymer films through surface energy and work of adhesion is another area of my expertise.
Currently, in CCRC my research is focussed in lithium-ion battery recycling, wastewater treatment, and studying the viscosity of heavy fuel oil (HFO) opens up exciting new avenues for exploration. 

Selected Publications

  • Plasticity or elasticity? Relating elastic moduli with secondary structural features of mixed films of polypeptides at air/fluid and fluid/solid interfaces
    D Madhumitha, VG Vaidyanathan, A Dhathathreyan
    Biophysical Chemistry 258, 106329

  • Critical insights into the interactions of heat shock protein 70 with phospholipids
    M Dhanasekaran, K Geethika, P Kumar, SS Mandal
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 22 (34), 19238-19248

  • Elastic compliance as a tool to understand Hofmeister ion specific effect in DMPC liposomes
    D Madhumitha, A Bruntha, VG Vaidyanathan, BGN Reddy, KJ Sreeram, ...
    Biophysical Chemistry 249, 106148

  • Colloids versus solution state adsorption of proteins: Interaction of Myoglobin with supported lipid bilayers
    M Dhanasekaran, M Jaganathan, A Dhathathreyan
    International journal of biological macromolecules 114, 434-440

  • Balancing soft elasticity and low surface polarity in films of charged BSA capsules at air/fluid interface
    D Madhumitha, M Jaganathan, A Dhathathreyan, R Miller
    Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 146, 161-170 


  • Ph.D., Physical Sciences - Biophysical Chemistry, CSIR - Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai, India, 2018

  • M.Phil., Physics, Ethiraj College for Women (autonomous), Chennai, India, 2013

  • M.Sc., Physics, Meenakshi College for Women (autonomous), Chennai, India, 2012

  • B.Sc., Physics, Meenakshi College for Women (autonomous), Chennai, India, 2010 

Professional Profile

  • 2018 – 2019: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India

KAUST Affiliations

  • Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC)

  • Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE)

Research Interests Keywords

Colloids Protein Interactions Polymers Rheology Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) Protein Crystallography Langmuir Studies Cell Membranes Giant Vesicles