Syllabus for Biophysical Chemistry

Biofysikalisk kemi


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1KB468
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Chemistry A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2012-03-08
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2019-02-19
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits including 60 credits in chemistry including 15 credits in biochemistry.
    English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6").
  • Responsible department: Department of Chemistry - BMC

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • account for the different interactions that are important for the formation of structures in biological systems and for how thermodynamic parameters can be measured.
  • account for basic concepts within statistical thermodynamics and molecular simulation, and apply this to macromolecular systems.
  • account for structures and functions of biological membranes, as well as model systems and relevant methods for the study of these structures and functions.
  • explain and apply methods for the determination of functional molecular mass of biological macromolecules in solution as well as determination of equilibrium - and rate constants for macromolecule-ligand interactions.
  • account for and apply spectroscopic methods for the study of structures and functions in biological systems


The structure of biological macromolecules. Statistical thermodynamics especially applied on biological systems, macromolecules in solution, conformational equilibria, membrane equilibria, ligand binding and cooperativity. Microcalorimetry. Methods to study equilibrium and speed for association-dissociation processes. Membrane proteins and membrane transport. Spectroscopic methods: UV-Vis and fluorescence, EPR, ESR and NMR related to biochemistry. Physical methods for studies of the interaction between biological macromolecules. Transport processes with relevance in biological systems and experimental biochemistry. Determination of functional molecular mass in solution using scattering methods and sedimentation. Molecular dynamics and Monte-Carlo simulation.


The teaching is given as lectures, lessons, seminars, laboratory sessions and projects with presentations. Communication training and profile according to chosen specialisation integrated with other course parts.


Written tests are organised at the end of the course and/or during the course and correspond to 6 credits. The laboratory sessions correspond to 4.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

  • Van Holde, Kensal Edward; Johnson, W. Curtis; Ho, Pui Shing Principles of physical biochemistry

    2. ed.: Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education International/Prentice Hall, cop. 2006

    Find in the library

  • Nelson, David L.; Cox, Michael M. Lehninger principles of biochemistry

    Seventh, international edition.: New York, NY: W.H. Freeman, [2017]

    Find in the library