327-2131-00L  Materials of Life

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


327-2131-00 GMaterials of Life3 hrs
Thu14:45-17:30HCP E 47.3 »
E. Dufresne

Catalogue data

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.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
In examination block forBachelor's Degree Programme in Materials Science 2017; Version 28.01.2020 (Examination Block 6)
Bachelor's Programme in Materials Science 2012; Version 01.08.2016 (Examination Block 6)
Bachelor's Programme in Materials Science 2015; Version 22.08.2017 (Examination Block 6)
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersE. Dufresne
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationwritten 90 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationA project (compulsory continuous performance assessment) will be carried out during the semester. This project will contribute 40% to the final grade.
Written aidsKeine Hilfsmittel erlaubt.
If the course unit is part of an examination block, the credits are allocated for the successful completion of the whole block.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


PriorityRegistration for the course unit is only possible for the primary target group
Primary target groupMaterials Science BSc (327000)

Offered in

Materials Science BachelorExamination Block 6OInformation