Fakultät für Physik




Biophysics of the Cell – Lecture Notes

LECTURE PLAN: Physics of the Cell

All topics relevant for the exam are now updated below the lectures!

The results of the exam can be found on the exam page.

16. Oct: Introduction (slides) (hand notes)
Structure of eucaryotic cells, organelles, transport, 
chemistry of lipids, hydrophobic interaction, self-organisation, critical micelle concentration,

Lipid Membranes

23. Oct: Lipid membranes I (slides) (hand notes) (further reading)
Lyotropic phase transitions, membranes permeability, lipid diffusion

30. Oct: Lipid membranes II (slides) (hand notes) (further reading)(further reading II)
membrane-continuum models, bending elasticity, vesicle shapes, membrane fluctuations

6. Nov: Lipid membranes III (slides)(hand notes)(further reading)
Thermotropic lipid phase transition, lipid mixtures, substrate supported model systems


13. Nov: Photosynthesis I (slides)(handnotes)(further reading [German])
Chloroplasts, absorption, fluorescence resonance energy transfer

20. Nov: Photosynthesis II (slides)(handnotes)(further reading [English])
Bacteriorhodopsin, LHC, electron transfer, redox reactions, Mitchell hypothesis

Nerve cells

27. Nov: Nerve cells I (slides)(handnotes)(further reading [English])
Function and structure of nerve cells, action potential, ion channels, Nernst potential, resting potential, 

4. Dec: Nerve cells II (slides)(slides2)(handnotes)(further reading [German])
Hodgkin-Huxley equation, voltage sensitive channels, Fitzhugh, VanderPool, cable equation,
(11.Dec) synapses, synaptic vesicle, neurotransmitter

Cell mechanics and migration

11. Dec: Cytoskeleton (slides1)(slides2)(further reading [German])
Viscoelasticity, stress, strain, compliance&relaxation, Maxwell and Kelvin bodies, force measurements and rheology techniques

18. Dec: Physics of Cell Migration I (slides1)(handnotes) (slides2)
mesenchymal vs amoeboid migration, actin polymerization, force exertion (tractions) and contraction, adhesion and prestress

8. Jan: Talk block I

15. Jan: Talk block II

22. Jan: Physics of Cell Migration II (slides)(slides2)
the cell adhesion complex, viscoelasticity of extracellular matrix and cytoskelton, the role of substrate stiffness, adaption,
single cell migration, random walk 

29. Jan: (Exam)

5. Feb: Physics of cancer and gene delivery
chemotaxis, haptotaxis, durotaxis, examples from the human body (wound healing, morphogenesis, cancerogenesis)