Physical Molecular Biology

5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1MB449

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Biophysics A1N, Technology A1N
Grading system
Pass with distinction, Pass with credit, Pass, Fail
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 26 March 2021
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

120 credits within the Master's Programme in Molecular Biotechnology Engineering including Transform Methods, Probability and Statistics, Chemical Thermodynamics and Microbiology. Participation in Scientific computing II. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

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

  • formulate quantitative dynamics models of biochemical reaction schemes
  • explain the physical principles underlying speed and accuracy in enzymatic processes
  • simulate stochastic and deterministic reaction models.


Reaction kinetics and enzyme kinetics: Reaction and diffusion control, enzyme catalysis, relaxation kinetics, separation of time scales. Irreversible thermodynamics: Energy dissipation, accuracy and proofreading in chemical reactions. Non-linear deterministic systems analysis: Phase space analysis, bifurcation theory. Stability and oscillations in biological regulatory systems. Mesoscopic kinetics: Stochastic chemical processes, description of stochastic biological systems with Master equations. Reaction-diffusion models: Description of spatial dependent kinetics with both partial differential equations and reaction-diffusion Master equations. The course contain programming assignments in MATLAB, describing some selected control system illustrating the difference between stochastic and deterministic analysis. Furthermore, a wet lab session is included, where some example from the course is studied using fluorescence microscopy.


Lectures, classroom exercises, laboratory sessions and written assignments.


Written examination (3 credits), laboratory sessions and written assignments (2 credits).

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.