Molecular Bioenergetics and Biophysics

10 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 1KB703

Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Biology G1F, Chemistry G1F
Grading system
Pass with distinction, Pass with credit, Pass, Fail
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 16 October 2018
Responsible department
Department of Chemistry - Ångström

Entry requirements

30 credits in basic chemistry including 5 credits in biochemistry and 5 credits in physical chemistry

Learning outcomes

After the course students should know how to

  • Account for the structure and topology of energy converting membrane protein complexes.
  • Explain thermodynamic principles if biological energy conversion.
  • Account for common redox components and - processes of electron transport proteins
  • Account for the mechanisms of different kinds of energy converting systems in living organisms.
  • Use spectroscopic and other physical and analytical methods for studying membrane processes as well as biological redox processes.
  • Use modern methods to study molecular mechanisms in respiration, photosynthesis.
  • Make clear and pedagogical presentations of an individual project.


Structure, function and molecular mechanisms of membrane proteins, and their role in biological energy conversion. Energy conversion of eukaryote and prokaryote cells, with focus on thermodynamic principles of biological electron transfer, photosynthesis and respiration. Subjects that are emphasised are entropy, chemical potential and the biochemical standard state. The aim is to increase the understanding of how biological redox reactions generate energy, and the connection between electron transport and proton translocation. Applications such as photobiological fuel production will be discussed.

The laboratory exercises are meant to teach spectroscopic methods to study membrane proteins and energy conversion reactions at a molecular level. Computer-based modelling will be used to study membrane protein structure.


The course is given in the form of lectures, discussions, laboratory sessions and literature projects. Participation in laboratory sessions and discussions is compulsory.


Written examinations are organised at the end of the course (6 credits). Laboratory exercise sessions (4 credits) To pass final grades it is required that all parts have been assessed passed. The final grade corresponds to a weighted average of the results of the written examination and the laboratory sessions.