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FSK3520 Experimental Methods in Molecular Biophysics 8.0 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3520 (Spring 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Fundamental properties of biomolecules. Basic thermodynamics of biomolecules, biomolecular dynamics and interactions. The principles of the following methods: Infrared-, Fluorescence-, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-, Electron Spin Resonance-, Circular Dichroism- and Raman-spectroscopy, Mass spectrometry, X-ray crystallography, Electron Microscopy, Surface Plasmon Resonance, Atomic Force Microscopy. An overview of applications of these techniques in fundamental academic research, in pharmaceutical and biotech industry, and for clinical diagnostics, and morespecifically within own area of research.

Intended learning outcomes

This course covers different experimental biophysical methods, how they are used to study structures and dynamics of biomolecules and their interactions. It also gives an overview of how these biophysical techniques are used in practice in biotechnology, drug development and in fundamental academic research. After this course the students are expected to be able to:

  • describe the main categories of biomolecules present in the human body, what their main functions are, and how they are built.
  • explain how interactions can take place between biomolecules and electromagnetic radiation
  • state what modern spectroscopic techniques that are used in molecular biophysics, and to explain the physical principles upon which these methods are based
  • Based on knowledge of the physical principles of the different biophysical techniques, judge and motivate which method(s) that is most appropriate to be applied to a particular biomolecular investigation.
  • Give an overview of how these methods are used in practice in biotechnology, drug development, clinical diagnostics and in fundamental academic research.
  • more specifically be able to judge what methods and in what way they can be applied/devleoped within the own area of research of the student.

Course disposition

Lectures (34h), laborations/excercises (8h), project task, control tests, study visit (6h). Oral presentation of how method(s) presented in the course can be applied within own area of research.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted to PhD studies in Physics, Biological Physics, or related fields of study.

Recommended prerequisites

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Serdyuk IN et al, Methods in Molecular Biophysics, Cambridge Univ Press

Course literature: current edition is posted on the course's homepage no later than four weeks before the course starts.
Scientific articles.
Laboratory instructions.

Examination and completion

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

Grading scale

P, F


  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • LIT1 - Literature assignment, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - 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.

Other requirements for final grade

One written examination (TEN1, 4hp, grades P/F), two oral project presentations (PRO1; 2hp, grades P/F), laborations, exercises and study visit (LAB1; 2hp, grades 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 Jerker Widengren

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

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FSK3520

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Professor Jerker Widengren,

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics