TFY4335 - Nano Life Science


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Written examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Written examination 100/100 4 hours C

Course content

The course includes cellular and molecular biophysics crucial for applications of nanotechnology in life science. Application areas discussed are bionanosensors, nanoparticles, design and operation of microfluidic devices and novel experimental techniques to study molecules and cells. Covered topics include but are not limited to: mechanical and chemical equilibrium, entropic forces and molecular self assembly, random walks, diffusion, Brownian motion, fluid dynamics at nm to μm scale, electrostatic interactions in water solution and biological electricity. Furthermore, during the course, experimental techniques and theoretical models used to study single molecules such as polymers and proteins are described. Methods and models needed to understand some properties of enzymes, ion channels and molecular motors are discussed. Examples from recent research in bionanotechnology will be presented.

Learning outcome

After completion of the course, student should be able to: (1) Use simplified physical models to describe various processes important for understanding cellular functions. In particular, understand physical forces needed to understand and describe intermolecular interactions, the role of entropy and entropic forces, electrostatic interactions in solution, transport phenomena like diffusion and the role of Brownian motion, properties of water at micro- and nanometer scales. (2) Understand how living organisms convert chemical energy into mechanical work. (3) Know how to describe, model and measure mechanical properties of single polymer chains and intermolecular interactions; understand how inter- and intramolecular interactions influence mechanical properties of bio-polymers, proteins and nucleic acids. (4) Be able to design and make simple microfluidic devices and understand the physical phenomena important for their function. (5) Implement some of the physical models discussed in the course in computer simulations in Matlab or python.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, problem classes and laboratory exercises with report writing. All reports must be approved to be admitted to the exam.

Compulsory assignments

  • Laboratory exercises

Further on evaluation

The re-sit examination (in August) may be changed from written to oral.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Course materials

Main textbook: Physical Biology of the Cell. Rob Phillips, Jane Kondev, Julie Theriot, Hernan Garcia. ISBN: 9780815344506.
Additional materials: To be announced at the start of the semester.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
TFY4310 7.5 2015-09-01


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Written examination

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Autumn ORD Written examination 100/100 C 2018-12-06 09:00
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.