MPhys Physics with Astrophysics

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:

Course unit fact file
Unit code PHYS40732
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Physics & Astronomy
Available as a free choice unit? No


Biomaterials Physics


Through discussion of several selected topics,  

 - to develop an awareness of contributions of biomaterials and biointerfaces in the form of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies,  

 - to understand measurement techniques and methods that can help biomaterials development and characterisations in medical diagnostics and therapies, encompassing the use of nanoscale sensoring and detection for physical and biological processes, 

-  to relate existing physical understanding to biomaterial properties and functions. 

Learning outcomes

On completion successful students should be able to:

1. Describe the range of structures of biomolecules and their functionality in living systems. 

2. Understand typical biomaterial types, uses, and basic processes for early biomaterials development, structures, properties and their relations. 

3. Describe typical methods of production of bio- and nanomaterials. 

4. Discuss the medical requirements for advanced biomaterials. 

5. Describe exemplar applications of nanomaterials and nanotechnology in the area of diagnostics, therapies and drug delivery. 

6. Explain the principles of a range of advanced experimental techniques used in determination of the structure and dynamical properties of biomaterials. 

7. Understand how physical and chemical properties of materials at micro- and nano-scales affect their applications in daily life, medicine and their potential risks. 


1. Structures and properties of biomaterials and nanomaterials    

Introduction of biomaterials, bionanotechnology and bionanomedicine.  

Structures of water, amino acids, DNA, proteins, lipids and their functions in living cell. 

Structures and nanostructures of solids: crystalline, polycrystalline, amorphous (glass) materials and their connection to physical, chemical and mechanical properties. 

Interfaces and biointerfaces, molecular adsorption and aggregation, self-assembly 

Properties of main biomaterials: metals, plastics, gels and viscoelastic behaviour.  

2. Bio/nanotechnology and Bio/nanomedicine   

Introduction of bionanotechnologies to medical diagnostics and therapies. 

Introduction of nanoscale biosensors and advanced drug delivery methods. 

Introduction of experimental techniques such as synchrotron radiation and neutron scattering for determination of the structures of nanomaterials and biomolecules, AFM and vibrational spectroscopic techniques for probing biosurfaces, biomolecular adsorption and biofilms 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback will be available on students’ individual written solutions to examples sheets, which will be marked, and model answers will be issued.

Recommended reading

Recommended Texts
Kittel C., Introduction to Solid State physics, latest edition (J Wiley)
Mohammad Farrukh A., Functionalized Nanomaterials Publisher: In Tech, ISBN 978-953-51-2856-4.
Haider S. and Haider A., Electrospinning-Material, Techniques, and Biomedical Applications, ISBN 978-953-51-2822-9.
Stefan G Stanciu S.G., Micro and Nanotechnologies for Biotechnology, ISBN 978-953-51-2531-0.


Supplementary Reading
Graphene - New Trends and Developments, edited by Farzad Ebrahimi, ISBN 978-953-51-2220-3.
Biosensors - Micro and Nanoscale Applications, edited by Toonika Rinken, ISBN 978-953-51-2173-2.
Application of Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery, edited by Ali Demir Sezer, ISBN 978-953-51-1628-8.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 76.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jian Lu Unit coordinator

Return to course details