Course: Biophysical Chemistry

« Back
Course title Biophysical Chemistry
Course code KFC/BFCH
Organizational form of instruction Lecture
Level of course Master
Year of study not specified
Semester Summer
Number of ECTS credits 3
Language of instruction Czech, English
Status of course Compulsory-optional, Optional
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Jurečka Petr, doc. RNDr. Ph.D.
Course content
Thermodynamics in biochemistry, entropy, dissipative processes, driving forces and energy flow in organisms. Water and solutions as an environment for biochemical processes. Organism as an opened system in a stationary state. Kinetics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, oscillatory reactions in complex systems, biorhythms, pharmacokinetics. Proteins. Structure, stability, non-covalent interactions, hydrophobic effect and "fear of vacuum", Ramachandran plot, protein folding and the role of entropy, mechanisms of protein folding. Principles of enzyme catalysis. Protein - ligand and protein - inhibitor interactions, docking. Lipids, membranes, surface tension, self-assembly, concentration gradients and membrane potentials, membrane proteins, transport through a membrane. Nucleic acids, DNA forms, RNA stability and folding, ions and ionic strength. Interactions of DNA and RNA with proteins, molecular recognition. Experimental methods for biomolecule studies. Spectroscopy, microscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, fluorescence, NMR, X-ray, mass spectrometry, calorimetry. Streghts and weaknesses of various methods. Modelling biomolecules. Computer simulations, approaches, information obtainable through computer simulations. Combination of modeling and experiment.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Monologic Lecture(Interpretation, Training)
  • Preparation for the Exam - 90 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
Basic molecular components of life systems are shown from a viewpoint of physical chemistry. A brief overview of contemporary experimental and theoretical tools to study biomolecules is presented. Among the discussed topics are structure and thermodynamics of nucleic acids, proteins and membranes, protein folding, biomolecular interactions and some related kinetic issues.
Understanding of physico-chemical principles of biological processes and application of acquired knowledge.

Assessment methods and criteria
Oral exam

Students should be able to discuss a given topic (two questions).
Recommended literature
  • Cooper A. Biophysical Chemistry, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2004..
  • Finkelstein A., Ptitsyn O.B. Protein Physics, Academic Press, 2002.
  • Kalous V., Pavlíček Z. (1980). Biofysikální chemie. SNTL Praha.
  • Kodíček, M., Karpenko, V. (2000). Biofyzikální chemie. Academia Praha.
  • Tsai C.S. An Introduction to Computational Biochemistry, Wiley, 2002..
  • Vodrážka,Z. Fyzikální chemie pro biologické vědy.. Academia Praha, 248 s.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Branch of study Category Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty of Science Chemistry (1) Chemistry courses - Summer
Faculty of Science Physical Chemistry (2015) Chemistry courses 1 Summer
Faculty of Science Material Chemistry (2015) Chemistry courses 1 Summer
Faculty of Science Biophysics (2015) Physics courses 1 Summer