Coursebooks 2017-2018

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Biophysics II

PHYS-302

Lecturer(s) :

Verkhovskiy Alexander

Language:

English

Summary

Understanding and modeling properties of living cells such as shape, motion and force generation in terms of fundamental laws of physics

Content

Introduction. Spatial and temporal scales and relevant physical forces at the cellular level. Viscous drag and adhesive forces.

Overview of bioenergetics. The cell as out-of-equilibrium system. Mitochondria, transmembrane potential, proton-ATPase, and rotational electric motor of bacterial flagellum.

Cytoskeleton, cell shape and motion. Actin filaments, microtubules and intermediate filaments. Filament polarity. Assembly mechanisms and models. Force generation by assembly. Molecular motors: kinesins, dyneins and myosins. Motor steps and forces. Microtubule-dependent motors in intracellular transport and mitosis. Myosins in muscle contraction and cell motion. Cell adhesion and traction forces. Interaction of the cytoskeleton with the membrane, hydrostatic pressure, membrane tension and shape.

Cell symmetry breaking: asymmetric cell division, directional motion. Mechanisms: reaction-diffusion, mechanical feedback. PIP3-signaling system, Rho GTPases, feedback from actin flow. Directional sensing and chemotaxis.

Keywords

cell biophysics, cell motion, cytoskeleton, traction forces, molecular motors, actin, symmetry breaking, membrane tension, transmembrane potential

Learning Prerequisites

Recommended courses

physics and mathematics at the introductory university level, general biology at the high school level

Teaching methods

Lectures, paper discussion, problem solving

Expected student activities

attending the lectures, completing exercises, reading and presenting recent papers in the field

Assessment methods

paper presentation, problem solving, oral exam

Supervision

Office hours Yes
Assistants Yes

In the programs

Reference week

 MoTuWeThFr
8-9     
9-10     
10-11     
11-12     
12-13     
13-14 GRA330   
14-15    
15-16 GRA330   
16-17    
17-18     
18-19     
19-20     
20-21     
21-22     
 
      Lecture
      Exercise, TP
      Project, other

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  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German