Silvia Bonfanti
Assistant Professor at NOMATEN, Warsaw.

My research focuses on Physics of Complex Systems: glasses, mechanical metamaterials, machine learning and biophysics.

Recently I am working on High Entropy Alloys.

Mechanical Metamaterials

Automatic Design

“Automatic design of mechanical metamaterial actuators.” Nature communications 11.1 (2020): 1-10.


“Automatic design of chiral mechanical metamaterials.” APL Materials 9.10 (2021): 101112.


“Density scaling in the mechanics of a disordered mechanical meta-material.” Applied Physics Letters 114.11 (2019): 111902.


“Digital strategies for structured and architected materials design.” APL Materials 9.2 (2021): 020904.


“Metamaterial architecture from a self-shaping carnivorous plant.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116.38 (2019): 18777-18782.


ML prediction of failure

“Predicting the failure of two-dimensional silica glasses.” Nature communications 13.1 (2022): 1-11.

Damage Accumulation

“Damage accumulation in silica glass nanofibers.” Nano Letters 18.7 (2018): 4100-4106.

Plastic events in silica

“Elementary plastic events in amorphous silica.” Physical Review E 100.6 (2019): 060602.

Low frequency modes in silica

“Universal low-frequency vibrational modes in silica glasses.” Physical Review Letters 125.8 (2020): 085501.

At finite temperature

“Universal density of low-frequency states in silica glass at finite temperatures.” Physical Review E 105.5 (2022): 054104.

Frictional Spheres

The dynamics of amorphous granular matter with frictional interactions cannot be derived in general from a Hamiltonian and therefore displays oscillatory instabilities stemming from the onset of complex eigenvalues in the stability matrix.

Active Matter: unjamming of active rotators

Active particles can exhibit a wide range of interesting dynamical phases depending on internal parameters such as density, adhesion strength or self-propulsion. Active self-rotations are rarely studied in this context, although they can be relevant for active matter systems, as we illustrate by analyzing the motion of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii algae under different experimental conditions. Inspired by this example, we simulate the dynamics of a system of interacting active disks endowed with active torques and self-propulsive forces. We also study the interplay between self-propulsion and self-rotation and derive a phase diagram. We provide a comprehensive picture of the dynamics of active rotators, providing useful guidance to interpret experimental results in cellular systems where rotations might play a role.

Computational Biophysics

The nuclear morphology of eukaryotic cells is determined by the interplay between the lamina forming the nuclear skeleton, the chromatin inside the nucleus, and the coupling with the cytoskeleton. Nuclear alterations of the lamina are often associated with pathological conditions as in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, in which a mutation in the lamin A gene yields an altered form of the protein, named progerin, and an aberrant nuclear shape. Here, we introduce an inducible cellular model of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome in HeLa cells in which increased progerin expression leads to alterations in the coupling of the lamin shell with cytoskeletal or chromatin tethers as well as with polycomb group proteins.

Protein Aggregation: Mutant vs wild type HTT

Energy Landscapes

Saddle point search without using Hessian matrix
Energy Landscape of Frictional System

About Me

Triathlete, experiencing interdisciplinarity
at all levels!

Ironman Cervia 2021,
third place of category.