327-2131-00L  Materials of Life

SemesterAutumn Semester 2018
LecturersE. Dufresne
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentOnly for Materials Science BSc.


AbstractThis course examines the materials underlying living systems. We will consider the basic building blocks of biological systems, the processes which organize them, the resulting structures, their properties and functions.
ObjectiveStudents will apply basic materials science concepts in a new context while deepening their knowledge of biology. Emphasis on estimating key physical quantities through 'back of the envelope' estimates and simple numerical calculations.
ContentI. The physics of life
a. Length scales
b. Time scales
c. Energy flow

II. The chemistry of life:
a. Water: key properties and interactions
b. Macromolecules
i. Nucleic Acids
ii. Proteins
iii. Carbohydrates
c. Lipids: phase behaviour
d. Inorganics

III. Living Materials in Cellular Physiology
a. Nucleus: information and control
b. Cytoskeleton: mechanics
c. Mitochondria: energy
d. Plasma Membrane: compartmentalization and transport

IV. Living Tissues as Materials
a. Muscle: active material
b. Bone: remodeled material
c. Wood: hierarchical material
Lecture notesLecture notes will be available for download after each lecture.