Elements of Biophysics - F+B

Ano letivo: 2017-2018
Specification sheet

Specific details
course codecycle os studiesacademic semestercredits ECTSteaching language

Learning goals
The main objective is to teach the fundamentals of bioelectricity, especially the electrical properties of nerve cells on the formation, propagation and transmission of nerve impulses, and other excitable cells including sensory and muscle cells. The aim is also to give students an insight into the current state of knowledge about the main issues and the corresponding physical approaches, and students to develop the ability to investigate and to communicate in writing and orally.

Generic skills :

Competence in analysis and synthesis;
Competence in organization and planning;
Competence in oral and written communication;
Knowledge of a foreign language;
Computer skills pertaining to the scope of the study;
Competence to solve problems;
Use the internet as a means of communication and as source of information;
Competence in critical thinking;
Competence in independent learning;
Competence to investigate.
Introduction to bioelectrical phenomena. Structure and function of the nerve cell. Diffusion and transport through membranes. Resting membrane potential. Electrical properties of excitable membrane. Functional properties of dendrites. Action potential and model of Hodgkin - Huxley. Currents and gating mechanisms. Diversity on gated ion channels. Molecular structure and single-channel currents. Synaptic transmission: pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms. Synaptic plasticity.
This curricular unit is aimed at students who have appropriate knowledge of Mathematics and Physics and basic notions of Chemistry and Biology (Mathematical Analysis I, General Chemistry I and General Physics II).
Generic skills to reach
. Competence in analysis and synthesis;
. Competence in organization and planning;
. Competence in oral and written communication;
. Competence to solve problems;
. Critical thinking;
. Knowledge of a foreign language;
. Computer Skills for the scope of the study;
. Using the internet as a communication medium and information source;
. Competence in autonomous learning;
. Research skills;
(by decreasing order of importance)
Teaching hours per semester
theory-practical classes30
total of teaching hours75

Problem solving20 %
Exam80 %
assessment implementation in 20172018
Assessment Oral presentation of the summary assignment : 10.0%
Synthesis work: 10.0%
Exam: 80.0%

Bibliography of reference
JOHNSTON, Daniel;WU,Samuel M.-S.- Foundations of Cellular Neurophysiology
Cambridge, Massachusetts,The MIT Press,1995,676 p.ISBN 0-262-10053-3
HILLE,Bertil-Ionic Channels of Excitable Membranes, 3ª ed. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Massachusetts, 2001, 841 p.ISBN 0-87893-321-2
FAIN,Gordon L.-Molecular and Cellular Physiology of Neurons, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press,1999,693 p.ISBN 0-674-58155-5
HOPPE, Walter; LOHMANN, Wolfgang; MARKL, Hubert, ZIEGLER, Hubert, Eds.
Biophysics. Berlin, Springer-Verlag,1983, 941 p.ISBN 3-540-12083-1
Teaching method
Lectures will be given using essentially audio-visual media, and as tutorial classes. In these classes, the topics of the syntheses works and their specific features will be defined. In them will be discussed further study methods and the presentation of the work, including the collection of information and bibliography consultation and the computer resources to be used.
Resources used