The National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics
NCHM Lime Lab





Hydrodynamics: means "water movement" and the NCMH (National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics) is a Facility for the characterisation of the sizes, shapes and interactions of large macro molecules of biomedical and industrial importance (proteins, polysaccharides, DNA, synthetic polymers etc.) and in the environment that many occur naturally water or aqueous solution.

The NCMH is a National Facility set up with a rolling RCUK grant from the SERC/ BBSRC/ EPSRC research councils of the UK for Academic users which has been developed as an International Facility for the Biopharma and Food Industries.  RCUK users must apply for funding to access the Facility as part of a normal submission. Before doing so please contact us: and we will be happy to help.

Animated NCMH logo (22 sec)           Original NCMH Trailer (5 min 26 sec)

Recent Research Highlights


Postgraduate Opportunities:  Master of Research and PhD

The NCMH offers the following Postgraduate Masters Course (1 year full time, 2-4 years part time), and is run jointly with the Business School and School of Chemistry:

MRes in Biomolecular Technology (BMT)  (1 year full time; 2-4 years part time)

Next intake: October 2024

MRes BMT is ideal for

  • students who have or are about to graduate who want to pursue research in Industrially relevant areas in the fields of Biopharma/Health Care, Healthy Foods, Bioarchaeology and Business aspects/ Entrepreneurship and other related areas
  • those currently working in Industry wishing to obtain a Masters qualification whilst working in a company’s own laboratories

The Course consists of 60 credits of assessed Taught modules, supplemented by research tutorials and 120 credits assessed Research. It is taught in conjunction with leading Biopharma / Healthcare & Food Companies such as: Astra ZenecaArecorSanofiGSKUpperton LaboratoriesBritvic, and Institutes such as the National Institute for Biological Standards & SciCult Lab (Science for Culture) at Oslo. It has been nominated for accreditation by the Royal Society of Chemistry. 

The top student on the MRes in Biomolecuar Technology is awarded the Beckman-Coulter Prize and all students gaining an overall 70% or more each obtain the Wyatt Technology UK Prize.

Course schedule

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Course flyer

Course Prospectus (2024-25)

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The BMT MRes is a development from the previous highly successful MSc Courses Applied Biopharmaceutical Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship (ABBE) and Applied Biomolecular Technology (ABT) with nearly 1000 students trained, and the former MRes in Industrial Physical Biochemistry (IPB).  We thank all those students for all their hard work and support.




PhD students

  • Yudong Lu (Chinese Scholar): Glycans in Food and Health (Supervisor - Harding)
  • Dalal Mohammed Almutairi (University of Tabuk Scholar): Interactions between mucins and plant based food macromolecules (Harding/Dinu/Yakubov)

MRes Biomolecular Technology students (2023-24)

  • Akshaya Vasudevan
  • Mohamed Suhail
  • Jathushan Baheerathan
  • Lochlan Parr
  • Oliver Hughes

MRes Biomolecular Technology students (Accepted for 2024-25)

  • Genevieve Paton (UK)
  • Joe Turpin (UK)
  • Alicia Richardson (UK)
  • Jathushan Baheerathan (UK)
  • Longxiao Du (China)
  • Shuyun He (China)
  • Mohsin Humaira (Pakistan)
  • Asia Jackson (USA)
  • Senara Jayawardena (Sri Lanka)
  • Lorena Gomez Santos (Mexico)
  • Muyang Tian (China)
  • Nethindu Warapitiya (Sri Lanka)


Some Earlier Research Highlights

  • Development of the COVOL program with Dame Janet Thornton FRS for predicting/allowing for non-ideality based on protein shape (view paper 1paper 2 and view original Rallison-Harding paper)
  • Development of an algorithm for analysing mucins and other complex polydisperse and non-ideal systems using sedimentation equilibrium in the analytical ultracentrifuge (view paper
  • Development of triaxial ellipsoids as hydrodynamic models for proteins in solution using ‘hydration independent’ shape functions (view paper) and the ELLIPS suite of algorithms (view paper)
  • Development of SOLPRO algorithm with Prof J. Garcia de la Torre for the bead modelling of complex proteins in solution using ‘hydration independent’ shape functions (view paper and recent review)
  • Development of a combined SEC-sedimentation equilibrium method for polymer molecular weight distribution analysis (view paper 1paper 2paper 3)
  • Development with Dr A.J. Rowe of off-line automatic data capture of analytical ultracentrifuge patterns (view paper)
  • Development with Dr J.M. Creeth of a simple test for macromolecular heterogeneity in a single sedimentation equilibrium experiment (view paper) and the MSTAR method for sedimentation equilibrium analysis of polymer molecular weights (view paper)
  • Development and first demonstration of the principle of co-sedimentation in the analytical ultracentrifugation for ligand-macromolecule interactions (view paper 1paper 2,  paper 3 & a more recent review)
  • First demonstration of a protein which forms trimers – chloramphenicol transacetylase (view paper), and a further demonstration (view paper)
  • First demonstration with Prof Dennis Burton of a cusp shape conformation for the antibody IgE (view paper and book chapter)
  • First demonstration of how pegylation can screen antibodies (view paper)
  • First demonstration of how processing and point mutations can affect the conformation of monoclonal antibodies (view paper)
  • First application of dynamic light scattering with analytical ultracentrifugation to elucidate the after-process integrity of monoclonal antibodies (view paper)
  • First demonstration of a weak association in carbohydrate polymers (view paper)
  • First SEC-MALS elucidation of the molecular weight distribution of polysaccharides (view paper) and mucins (view paper)
  • First application of dynamic light scattering to bacterial spores (view paper) and demonstration of resistance to disinfectants (view paper)
  • Development with Dr Paley Johnson of the theory for the concentration dependence of hydrodynamic parameters (view paper), tested using TYMV (view paper) and a recent update with Prof Don Winzor and Dr David Scott for the concentration dependence of diffusion (view paper)
  • Development of the technique of flotation equilibrium in the analytical ultracentrifuge (view paper)
  • Development of the linear coil array model for the structure mucins (view paper 1paper 2 and review)
  • Discovery of high levels of Viking genes in the population of coastal north-west England (view paper and book 1 and book 2)
  • Development with Prof J. Garcia de la Torre of ‘Crystallohydrodynamics’: combination of x-ray crystallography with hydrodynamics to elucidate the domain orientation of antibodies (view paper 1paper 2)
  • Resolution of an important discrepancy with a theory relating viscosity determination with molecular shape (view paper and review)

Comprehensive list (~600) of publications from the NCMH (Google Scholar) and links (Research Gate)


MRes Biomolecular Technology Graduation class & staff (2022-23)

MRes Biomolecular Technology Graduation class & staff (2022-23)



NCMH Home Page 


Biomolecular Technology MRes: research training and degree in Macromolecular Biotechnology for Biopharma, Healthy Food or Bioarchaeology


Contact us

National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics 
University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus

LE12 5RD, U.K.

Email: Tel: +44 (0)115-951-6149