636-0104-00L  Biophysical Methods

SemesterAutumn Semester 2020
LecturersD. J. Müller
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentAttention: This course was offered in previous semesters with the number: 626-0010-00L "Nanomachines of the Cell (Part I): Principles". Students that already passed course 626-0010-00 cannot receive credits for course 636-0104-00.


636-0104-00 GBiophysical Methods
Attention: Lecture starts on Wednesday, September 23
The lecturers will communicate the exact lesson times of ONLINE courses.
3 hrs
Wed10:00-13:00ON LI NE »
D. J. Müller

Catalogue data

AbstractStudents will be imparted knowledge in basic and advanced biophysical methods applied to problems in molecular biotechnology. The course is fundamental to applying the methods in their daily and advanced research routines. The students will learn the physical basis of the methods as well as their limitations and possibilities to address existing and future topics in molecular biotechnology.
ObjectiveGain of interdisciplinary competence in experimental and theoretical research, which qualifies for academic scientific work (master's or doctoral thesis) as well as for research in a biotechnology or a pharmaceutical company. The module is of general use in courses focused on modern biomolecular technologies, systems biology and systems engineering.
ContentThe students will learn basic and advanced knowledge in applying biophysical methods to address problems and overcome challenges in biotechnology, cell biology and life sciences in general. The biological and physical possibilities and limitations of the methods will be discussed and critically evaluated. By the end of the course the students will have assimilated knowledge on a portfolio of biophysical tools widening their research capabilities and aptitude.
The biophysical methods to be taught will include:
• Light microscopy: Resolution limit of light microscopy, fluorescence, GFP, fluorescence microscopy, DIC, phase contrast, difference between wide-field and confocal microscopy
• Super resolution optical microscopy: STED, PALM, STORM, other variations
• Electron microscopy: Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, electron tomography, cryo-electron microscopy, single particle analysis and averaging, tomography, sectioning, negative stain
• X-ray, electron and neutron diffraction
• MRI Imaging
• Scanning tunnelling microscopy and atomic force microscopy
• Patch clamp technologies: Principles of patch clamp analysis and application. Various patch clamp approaches used in research and industry
• Surface plasmon resonance-based biosensors
• Molecular pore-based sensors and sequencing devices
• Mechanical molecular and cellular assembly devices
• Optical and magnetic tweezers
• CD spectroscopy
• Optogenetics
• Molecular dynamics simulations
Lecture notesHand out will be given to students at lecture.
LiteratureMethods in Molecular Biophysics (5th edition), Serdyuk et al., Cambridge University Press
Biochemistry (5th edition), Berg, Tymoczko, Stryer; ISBN 0-7167-4684-0, Freeman
Bioanalytics, Lottspeich & Engels, Wiley VCH, ISBN-10: 3527339191
Cell Biology, Pollard & Earnshaw; ISBN:0-7216-3997-6, Saunder, Pennsylvania
Methods in Modern Biophysics, Nölting, 3rd Edition, Springer, ISBN-10: 3642030211
Prerequisites / NoticeThe module is composed of 3 SWS (3 hours/week): 2-hour lecture, 1-hour seminar. For the seminar, students will prepare oral presentations on specific in-depth subjects with/under the guidance of the teacher.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits4 credits
ExaminersD. J. Müller
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationoral 20 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationOral presentation in class amounts to 25% and written report to 25% of final grade. Both are continuous compulsary performance assessments.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

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Offered in

Biotechnology MasterBiomelecular-OrientatedWInformation
Biotechnology MasterSystem-OrientatedWInformation
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics MasterBiophysicsWInformation