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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TIF040 - Biotechnical physics  
Syllabus adopted 2017-11-10 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAPP
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

The course round is cancelled. For further questions, please contact the director of studies MPAPP: APPLIED PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, contact information can be found here

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: A+

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0105 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c    

In programs

MPAPP APPLIED PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Forskarassistent  Marta Bally


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Recommended courses from the Masters program: Soft Matter Physics and Biological Physics. Courses in biophysics or physical chemistry are also suitable background knowledge.


The course is intended for students who wish to learn physical techniques that researchers (academic or in industry) use for analyzing biological systems. Focus is put on state-of-the art biosensor technology and the physical working principles of such devices. The course aims to show how physics can help understand biology on the molecular level and is suitable for students of physics with an interest in biology. The course can also serve as a complement for students in chemistry or molecular biology that wish to extend their knowledge on modern techniques beyond established routine equipment. During the course, students will be encouraged to reflect upon the challenges that modern life sciences currently face, which the techniques are intended to solve.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • understand main physical concepts behind properties of biological systems, (bio)interactions and methods for (bio)material modification or characterization

  • know the general concept of biocompatibility and how it can be achieved in different situations

  • evaluate and choose which engineering tools and methods can be used to understand a biological system 

  • choose proper techniques for analysis, modification or control of biomolecular systems and interactions

  • know the meaning and actively use relevant biological and physical terms, i.e. communicate in the interdisciplinary environment 

  • follow current literature in biotechnical fields 

  • write scientific reports, present orally and discuss scientific material

  • know about bio-oriented research taking place at the Dept of Applied Physics and Chalmers


The course introduces biophysical techniques used to analyse biological systems. Topics that will be described include but are not limited to:
  • Fundamentals of biomolecular interactions and binding kinetics.
  • Challenges in medical diagnostics and drug development, limits of existing techniques.
  • Working principle of existing biosensors such as the electrochemical glucose sensor and pregnancy tests.
  • The surface plasmon resonance biosensor.
  • The quartz crystal microbalance technique.
  • Advanced high resolution fluorescence microscopy imaging techniques.
  • Optical techniques such as Förster resonance energy transfer, dynamic light scattering and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.
  • Liquid phase scanning probe techniques.
  • Electrophoresis and dielectrophoresis.
  • Microfluidics technology and lab on a chip systems.
  • Microarrays and their applications.
  • Imaging mass spectroscopy techniques.



lab exercises

literature project


Books (some chapters only):
Methods in Molecular Biophysics, I. Serdyuk, N.R.Zaccai, J. Zaccai
Intermolecular and surface forces, J. N. Israelachvili
Plasmonic Biosensors, A.B. Dahlin
Microarray Technology and Its applications,U.R. Müller, D.V. Nicolau
Microfluidic technologies for Miniaturized Analysis Systems, S; Hardt, F. Schönfeld
+ additional literature articles and hand outs


Oral exam, home assignment, labs and project report based on literature study during the course. Oral presentation of the report during mini-seminar at the end of the course.

Grades are determined by exam score (approximately 50% weight), the home assigmnents  and literature project.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.