Course Title: Biophysics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Biophysics

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

Course Coordinator: Dr Elena Pirogova

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3015

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.11.06

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Completion of Year 1 and Year 2 core engineering and biomedical sciences courses from the Biomedical Engineering program curriculum.

Course Description

In this course the following topics will be covered:

Molecular Biophysics:

  • Electromagnetic and physical properties of biological molecules;
  • Molecular dynamics;
  • Application of biological macromolecules in nanotechnology.

Membrane and cell Biophysics:

  • Electrostatical and mechanical membrane phenomena; Membrane as an electrical double layers; Maxwell stress tensor and electrical forces in physiological systems;
  • Electrophysiology of cells; Electrophoresis; Generation of electrical signals in animal tissue with case study (ECG).
  • Interaction of electromagnetic fields with biological molecules, cells and tissues with a focus on optical radiation (UV, VIS, Infrared) and Microwave/Radio frequency radiation.

Biophysical measurements and techniques.

  • Methods and techniques for the measurement of the biophysical properties of tissues and cells - Physical principles with case studies.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

You will gain or improve capabilities in:

  • Technical ability: with its emphasis on problem solving and laboratory work, this course prepares you to be able to analyse the physical world in a systematic manner, with an ability to predict outcomes, based on given data.
  • Critical analysis and problem solving: you will use conceptual models in conjunction with established theory to analyse problems and particular situations in biophysics.
  • Communication skills will be improved through the presentation of written reports, and group work in laboratory projects.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe fundamental principles in Biophysics
  • Measure of the biophysical properties of tissues and cells

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning will occur through a series of lectures, tutorial discussions, and written and on-line assignments designed to illustrate the course content and develop capabilities using a variety of experiences.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through myRMIT Studies. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

Various simulation and visualization tools are available to consolidate the understanding of various topics.

You will also use laboratory equipment and computer software within the School during project and assignment work.

Overview of Assessment

There will be ongoing assessment during semester to encourage you to engage with the material and to give feedback on progress. This is done with several short assignments, including both conceptual and numerical problems. Some of this may be done with web-based assessment. Problems will include some exercises with require integration of concepts across different topics in the course. The emphasis is on testing development of critical analysis and problem solving capabilities.

A final examination will allow assessment of your overall achievement in the course. This will test mainly conceptual understanding of the material, (knowledge capability) with some shorter numerical and mathematical exercises.