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FSK3510 Cellular Biophysics I 8.0 credits

The course covers the transport functions of biological cells from a physical perspective.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3510 (Autumn 2018–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Transport within the cells and across the cell membranes. Transport of solutes and water, concurrent transport, carrier-mediated transport, transport of ions. Membrane potential. Cellular homeostasis. Measurement techniques for biophysical parameters.

Intended learning outcomes

The main purpose of the course is to give the students practical tools to describe the transport properties of biological cells.
After the course the participants should be able to:

  • understand which molecules can be transported across cellular membranes and which mechanisms are used for the transport
  • choose the relevant mathematical models to describe the transport of water, ions and solutes within cells and through the cellular membranes
  • predict how water and ion homeostasis of the cells, as well as the membrane potential, are affected by the cell microenvironment
  • in their research projects, set up microscopy based measurements of biophysical parameters in living cells and analyze the real measurement data

Course disposition

Lectures: 18 h
Laboratory exercises: 24 h
Seminar: 4 h

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Enrolled PhD student.

Recommended prerequisites

SK3530 (Introduction to Biomedicine) and SK3500 (Physics of Biomedical Microscopy) are recommended.


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Weiss T. F. Cellular Biophysics, volume 1, MIT Press, 1996

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale



  • INL1 - Assignment, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminar, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Written exam, 4.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

The course is examined by a written exam (TEN1; 4.0 university credits, grading P/F), a hand-in assignment (INL1; 1.5 university credits, grading P/F), written lab reports (LAB1; 1.5 university credits, grading P/F) and a presentation at a seminar (SEM1; 1.0 university credits, grading P/F).

Other requirements for final grade

INL1 - hand-in assignment, 1.5 university credits, grading P/F.
LAB1 - laborations, 1.5 university credits, grading P/F.
SEM1 - seminar, 1.0 university credits, grading P/F.
TEN1 - written exam, 4.0 university credits, grading P/F.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Hjalmar Brismar

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

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Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Marina Zelenina,

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics