Course: Biophysics

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Course title Biophysics
Course code KBF/BFB
Organizational form of instruction Lecture
Level of course Bachelor
Year of study not specified
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 4
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course Compulsory, Compulsory-optional, Optional
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Nauš Jan, prof. RNDr. CSc.
Course content
1) Mathematical basics. 2) Biomechanics. Newton´s laws. Work, potential energy, potential. Conservation laws of energy and momentum. ? and stability. Rotational movement. Conservation of the angular momentum. Vibrational movement. Linear harmonic oscillator. Relaxation and resonance. Statics and kinematics of bones and joints. The muscular contraction. Molecular dynamics. Friction. Elastic deformation of solids. Models of visco-elastic behavior of matter. Sound and hearing. 3) Biophysics of fluids. Surface tension and capillary forces. Laws of the fluid streaming. Viscosity. Biophysics of the blood circulation. Biophysics of lungs. 4) Biothermodynamics. Classic equilibrium thermodynamics. First law of thermodynamics. Derivation and properties of entropy. Statistical interpretation of entropy. Thermodynamic potentials. Chemical potential. Water potential and water transport in plants. Reversible and irreversible processes. The third law of thermodynamics. Phase transitions. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Onsager´s law of reciprocity. Entropy in biology. The Prigogine´s postulate. The LeChatelier principle. Theoretical formulation of J´and X´. Diffusion , conduction and generation of heat. 5) Statistical physics. The distribution functions. Fluctuations and evolution. 6) Synergetics. The evolutionary equations, systems of one or two components. Bifurcation. Limit cycle. Dissipative structures. Solitons. Oscillations in biology. Information. 7) Biological membranes. Membrane structure. Phase transitions in lipid layer, arrangement. Motions of the membrane (diffusion, rotation, fluctuations). Membrane transport, selective channels, porins. Conjugated transports. 8) Electrical phenomena. Electric potential, voltage, current and capacity. Electrical properties of membranes. Concept of membrane potential. Nernst equation and other equations. Action potential and its spreading. Voltage-gated ion channels. Electrostatic interactions of biomolecules. Electric organs. 9) Magnetic phenomena. The nature of magnetic field and its properties. Magnetic moment of an atom and of electronic systems. Magnetic resonance and imaging. 10) Optical phenomena. Electromagnetic radiation. Quantum (photoelectric effect). Effect on living systems (UV, VIS, IR). Absorption and scattering effects. Classical optics in biology (focus, light guides, total reflection). Optical equations. Polarized light (detection in biology). Spectroscopic methods ATR, CD, and ORD. Laser and laser spectroscopy. Holography. 11) Quantum mechanics. The nature of the theory. Wave function and its significance. Schroedinger equation. Tunnel effect. Perturbation theory. Fermi golden rule. Uncertainty relations. 12) Excitation energy transfer. Resonance and non-resonance energy transfer. 13) Transfer of electrons and protons. Redox potential. Electron transport in protein systems. Chemiosmotic hypothesis. Principles of bioenergetics. 14) Spectroscopies. Translational, rotational, vibrational and electronic states of molecules and related spectroscopies. 15) Luminescence. Types of luminescence. Jablonski scheme. Fluorescence and phosphorescence, chemiluminescence and bioluminescence. Thermoluminescence. Parameters of luminescence and their measurements. Quantum yield. Quenching of luminescence. Recombination phenomena.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Lecture, Monologic Lecture(Interpretation, Training)
  • Homework for Teaching - 20 hours per semester
  • Preparation for the Exam - 40 hours per semester
  • Attendace - 42 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
The goal of this course is to present the basics of biophysics for students of other specializations. The basic disciplines of physics are repeated and necessary mathematical tools introduced. The introductory parts and examples of biomechanics, equilibrium and non-equilibrium thermodynamics, synergetics and theory of information are presented. Physical properties and effect in biological membranes are described together with the membrane transport, electrical phenomena including action potential, electrostatic interaction of molecules and electric organs of fishes. Magnetic phenomena and the principles of magnetic resonance spectroscopies are described, the optical effects in living matter and the effect of polarized light explained. The basic ideas of quantum mechanics, excitation energy transport and spectroscopies are formulated.
Knowledge Define the main ideas and conceptions of the subject, describe the main approaches of the studied topics, recall the theoretical knowledge for solution of model problems.
Knowledge in physics at the level of secondary school, basic knowledge in biology and chemistry.

Assessment methods and criteria
Student performance

Knowledge within the scope of the course topics (examination)
Recommended literature
  • Hrazdíra, J. a kol. (1999). Biofyzika (učebnice pro lékařské fakulty). Avicenum Praha.
  • Kotyk, A. (1996). Struktura a funkce biomembrán. Masarykova univerzita Brno.
  • Krempaský, J. a kol. (1988). Synergetika. Vydavatelství Slovenskej akademie vied, Bratislava.
  • Vachek, K., Nauš, J. (1986). Vybrané partie z fyziky pro biology. Academia.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Branch of study Category Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty of Science Experimental Biology (2016) Biology courses - Winter
Faculty of Science Bioinorganic Chemistry (1) Chemistry courses - Winter
Faculty of Science Molecular and Cell Biology (2015) Biology courses - Winter
Faculty of Science Biophysics (2015) Physics courses 3 Winter