2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
15 creditsClass Size: 75
Module manager: Dr Neil Thomson
Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable
Year running 2021/22
Pre-requisite qualificationsLevel 2 Physics or equivalent.
This module is not approved as a discovery module
ObjectivesAt the end of this module students will have a grounding in basic understanding of the field of experimental bionanophysics. They will be familiar with the structure of the basic classes of macromolecules in biology (lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates) and how these naturally self-assemble through fundamental molecular forces. They will understand how these biomolecules are being studied and assembled for new applications in bionanotechnology. This will include single molecule biophysics techniques and applications such as DNA sequencing. Finally, they will gain insight into force generation in biological systems at a molecular level.
At the end of the module, students should be able to:
1. Make effective use of physics skills and knowledge to applications in Bionanophysics.
2. Collate and organise information from the published scientific literature
3. Problem solve in bionanophysics
4. Write about complex topics in bionanophysics
5. Critically analyse research literature
The course will be taught by three lecturers in individual section topics, with common concepts linking the sections.
I. THE BIONANOPHYSICS OF NUCLEIC ACIDS: Molecular forces, structure and behaviour of DNA as a polymer, scanning probe microscopes, DNA molecular motors, nanopore technologies, DNA sequencing.
II. THE BIONANOPHYSICS OF PROTEINS & CARBOHYDRATES: Protein structure, Proteins as bionanomachines, Protein thermodynamic stability,
Protein mechanical stability, Protein (un)folding and bonds, Molecular motors, Carbohydrate structure and mechanical properties.
III. THE BIONANOPHYSICS OF CELL MEMBRANES: Lipid structure, the thermodynamics of lipid self-assembly, chemical forces, lateral organisation and phase separation, critical behaviour and lipid raft dynamics, membrane curvature and mechanics, bionano applications.
The course will make use of original scientific material published in high-profile journals
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Office Hour Discussions||11||1.00||0.00|
|Private study hours||123.00|
|Total Contact hours||27.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||150.00|
Private studyReading lecture notes and recommended journal articles. Problem solving.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackRegular online quizzes using MCQ and SATA (x3 per topic: 9 Total)
Example problems in lectures/workshops
One to one discussion with lecturers in open office sessions.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Online Assessment||Regular MCQ/SATA Questions||20.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||20.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
|Exam type||Exam duration||% of formal assessment|
|Online Time-Limited assessment||2 hr 00 mins||80.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Exams)||80.00|
Students will have to complete an online assessment at the end of the module. This will take place during the examinations period at the end of the semester and will be time bound. Students must submit a reasonable attempt at all assessments for this module to pass this module.
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 12/07/2021 13:47:39
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