Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2014

Biomedical Engineering Master Information
Master Programme According to Programme Regulations 2013
Track Courses
Molecular Bioengineering
Track Core Courses
During the Master program, a minimum of 12 CP must be obtained from track core courses.
376-1714-00LBiocompatible MaterialsW4 credits3GK. Maniura, P. M. Kollmannsberger, J. Möller, M. Zenobi-Wong
AbstractIntroduction to molecules used for biomaterials, molecular interactions between different materials and biological systems (molecules, cells, tissues). The concept of biocompatibility is discussed and important techniques from biomaterials research and development are introduced.
ObjectiveThe class consists of three parts:
1. Introdcution into molecular characteristics of molecules involved in the materials-to-biology interface. Molecular design of biomaterials.
2. The concept of biocompatibility.
3. Introduction into methodology used in biomaterials research and application.
ContentIntroduction into native and polymeric biomaterials used for medical applications. The concepts of biocompatibility, biodegradation and the consequences of degradation products are discussed on the molecular level. Different classes of materials with respect to potential applications in tissue engineering and drug delivery are introduced. Strong focus lies on the molecular interactions between materials having very different bulk and/or surface chemistry with living cells, tissues and organs. In particular the interface between the materials surfaces and the eukaryotic cell surface and possible reactions of the cells with an implant material are elucidated. Techniques to design, produce and characterize materials in vitro as well as in vivo analysis of implanted and explanted materials are discussed.
In addition, a link between academic research and industrial entrepreneurship is established by external guest speakers.
Lecture notesHandouts can be accessed online.
Biomaterials Science: An Introduction to Materials in Medicine, Ratner B.D. et al, 3rd Edition, 2013
Comprehensive Biomaterials, Ducheyne P. et al., 1st Edition, 2011

(available online via ETH library)

Handouts provided during the classes and references therin.
402-0674-00LPhysics in Medical Research: From Atoms to Cells Information W6 credits2V + 1UB. K. R. Müller
AbstractScanning probe and diffraction techniques allow studying activated atomic processes during early stages of epitaxial growth. For quantitative description, rate equation analysis, mean-field nucleation and scaling theories are applied on systems ranging from simple metallic to complex organic materials. The knowledge is expanded to optical and electronic properties as well as to proteins and cells.
ObjectiveThe lecture series is motivated by an overview covering the skin of the crystals, roughness analysis, contact angle measurements, protein absorption/activity and monocyte behaviour.

As the first step, real structures on clean surfaces including surface reconstructions and surface relaxations, defects in crystals are presented, before the preparation of clean metallic, semiconducting, oxidic and organic surfaces are introduced.

The atomic processes on surfaces are activated by the increase of the substrate temperature. They can be studied using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The combination with molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) allows determining the sizes of the critical nuclei and the other activated processes in a hierarchical fashion. The evolution of the surface morphology is characterized by the density and size distribution of the nanostructures that could be quantified by means of the rate equation analysis, the mean-field nucleation theory, as well as the scaling theory. The surface morphology is further characterized by defects and nanostructure's shapes, which are based on the strain relieving mechanisms and kinetic growth processes.

High-resolution electron diffraction is complementary to scanning probe techniques and provides exact mean values. Some phenomena are quantitatively described by the kinematic theory and perfectly understood by means of the Ewald construction. Other phenomena need to be described by the more complex dynamical theory. Electron diffraction is not only associated with elastic scattering but also inelastic excitation mechanisms that reflect the electronic structure of the surfaces studied. Low-energy electrons lead to phonon and high-energy electrons to plasmon excitations. Both effects are perfectly described by dipole and impact scattering.

Thin-films of rather complex organic materials are often quantitatively characterized by photons with a broad range of wavelengths from ultra-violet to infra-red light. Asymmetries and preferential orientations of the (anisotropic) molecules are verified using the optical dichroism and second harmonic generation measurements. These characterization techniques are vital for optimizing the preparation of medical implants and the determination of tissue's anisotropies within the human body.

Cell-surface interactions are related to the cell adhesion and the contractile cellular forces. Physical means have been developed to quantify these interactions. Other physical techniques are introduced in cell biology, namely to count and sort cells, to study cell proliferation and metabolism and to determine the relation between cell morphology and function.

3D scaffolds are important for tissue augmentation and engineering. Design, preparation methods, and characterization of these highly porous 3D microstructures are also presented.

Visiting clinical research in a leading university hospital will show the usefulness of the lecture series.
465-0953-00LBiostatisticsW2 credits2V + 1UB. Sick
AbstractThe course deals with simple quantitative and graphical as well as more complex methods of biostatistics. Contents: Descriptive statistics, probability theory and design of experiments, testing hypotheses, confidence intervals, correlation, simple and multiple linear regression, analysis of variance, logistic regression, survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox-regression).
551-0103-00LFundamentals of Biology II: Cell Biology Information W5 credits5VU. Kutay, Y. Barral, E. Hafen, G. Schertler, U. Suter, S. Werner
AbstractThe goal of this course is to provide students with a wide general understanding in cell biology. With this material as a foundation, students have enough of a cell biological basis to begin their specialization not only in cell biology but also in related fields such as biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacological sciences, molecular biology, and others.
ObjectiveThe goal of this course is to provide students with a wide general understanding cell biology. With this material as a foundation, students have enough of a cell biological basis to begin their specialization not only in cell biology but also in related fields such as biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacological sciences, molecular biology, and others.
ContentThe focus is animal cells and the development of multicellular organisms with a clear emphasis on the molecular basis of cellular structures and phenomena. The topics include biological membranes, the cytoskeleton, protein sorting, energy metabolism, cell cycle and division, viruses, extracellular matrix, cell signaling, embryonic development and cancer research.
Lecture notesThe lectures are presented in the Powerpoint format. These are available on the WEB for ETH students over the nethz ( Some lectures are available on the ETH WEB site in a live format (Livestream) at the above WEB site.
LiteratureThe lectures follow Alberts et al. ‘Molecular Biology of the Cell’ Fifth edition, 2008 ISBN 978-0-8153-4105-5 (hard cover) and ISBN 978-0-8153-4106-2 (paperback).
Prerequisites / NoticeSome of the lectures are given in the English language.
551-1295-00LIntroduction to Bioinformatics: Concepts and Applications Information W6 credits4GW. Gruissem, K. Bärenfaller, A. Caflisch, G. Capitani, J. Fütterer, M. Robinson, A. Wagner
AbstractStorage, handling and analysis of large datasets have become essential in biological research. The course will introduce students to a number of applications of bioinformatics in biology. Freely accessible software tools and databases will be explained and explored in theory and praxis.
ObjectiveIntroduction to Bioinformatics I: Concepts and Applications (formerly Bioinformatics I) will provide students with the theoretical background of approaches to store and retrieve information from large databases. Concepts will be developed how DNA sequence information can be used to understand phylogentic relationships, how RNA sequence relates to structure, and how protein sequence information can be used for genome annotation and to predict protein folding and structure. Students will be introduced to quantitative methods for measuring gene expression and how this information can be used to model gene networks. Methods will be discussed to construct protein interaction maps and how this information can be used to simulate dynamic molecular networks.

In addition to the theoretical background, the students will develop hands-on experiences with the bioinformatics methods through guided exercises. The course provides students from different backgrounds with basic training in bioinformatics approaches that have impact on biological, chemical and physics experimentation. Bioinformatics approaches draw significant expertise from mathematics, statistics and computational science.

Although "Intoduction to Bioinformatics I" will focus on theory and praxis of bioinformatics approaches, the course provides an important foundation for the course "Introduction to Bioinformatics II: Fundamentals of computer science, modeling and algorithms" that will be offered in the following semester.
ContentBioinformatics I will cover the following topics:

From genes to databases and information
BLAST searches
Prediction of gene function and regulation
RNA structure prediction
Gene expression analysis using microarrays
Protein sequence and structure databases
WWW for bioinformatics
Protein sequence comparisons
Proteomics and de novo protein sequencing
Protein structure prediction
Cellular and protein interaction networks
Molecular dynamics simulation
636-0003-00LBiological Engineering and BiotechnologyW6 credits3GM. Fussenegger
AbstractBiological Engineering and Biotechnology will cover the latest biotechnological advances as well as their industrial implementation to engineer mammalian cells for use in human therapy. This lecture will provide forefront insights into key scientific aspects and the main points in industrial decision-making to bring a therapeutic from target to market.
Objective1. Insight Into The Mammalian Cell Cycle. Cycling, The Balance Between Proliferation and Cancer - Implications For Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing. 2. The Licence To Kill. Apoptosis Regulatory Networks - Engineering of Survival Pathways To Increase Robustness of Production Cell Lines. 3. Everything Under Control I. Regulated Transgene Expression in Mammalian Cells - Facts and Future. 4. Secretion Engineering. The Traffic Jam getting out of the Cell. 5. From Target To Market. An Antibody's Journey From Cell Culture to The Clinics. 6. Biology and Malign Applications. Do Life Sciences Enable the Development of Biological Weapons? 7. Functional Food. Enjoy your Meal! 8. Industrial Genomics. Getting a Systems View on Nutrition and Health - An Industrial Perspective. 9. IP Management - Food Technology. Protecting Your Knowledge For Business. 10. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing I. Introduction to Process Development. 11. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing II. Up- stream Development. 12. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing III. Downstream Development. 13. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing IV. Pharma Development.
Lecture notesHandsout during the course.
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