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.
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.
Recommended Elective Courses
These courses are particularly recommended for the Molecular Bioengineering track. Please consult your track advisor if you wish to select other subjects.
151-0604-00LMicrorobotics Information W4 credits3GB. Nelson
AbstractMicrorobotics is an interdisciplinary field that combines aspects of robotics, micro and nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, and materials science. The aim of this course is to expose students to the fundamentals of this emerging field. Throughout the course students are expected to submit assignments. The course concludes with an end-of-semester examination.
ObjectiveThe objective of this course is to expose students to the fundamental aspects of the emerging field of microrobotics. This includes a focus on physical laws that predominate at the microscale, technologies for fabricating small devices, bio-inspired design, and applications of the field.
ContentMain topics of the course include:
- Scaling laws at micro/nano scales
- Electrostatics
- Electromagnetism
- Low Reynolds number flows
- Observation tools
- Materials and fabrication methods
- Applications of biomedical microrobots
Lecture notesThe powerpoint slides presented in the lectures will be made available in hardcopy and as pdf files. Several readings will also be made available electronically.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture will be taught in English.
227-0385-00LBiomedical Imaging Information W4 credits3GS. Kozerke, U. Moser, M. Rudin
AbstractIntroduction and analysis of medical imaging technology including X-ray procedures, computed tomography, nuclear imaging techniques using single photon and positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound imaging techniques.
ObjectiveUnderstand the physical and technical principles underlying X-ray imaging, computed tomography, single photon and positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound and Doppler imaging techniques. Develop the mathematical framework to describe image encoding/decoding, point-spread function/modular transfer function, signal-to-noise ratio, contrast behavior for each of the methods.
ContentX-ray imaging
Computed tomography
Single photon emission tomography
Positron emission tomography
Magnetic resonance imaging
Ultrasound/Doppler imaging
Lecture notesLecture notes and handouts: Biomedical Imaging
LiteratureIntroduction to Medical Imaging: Physics, Engineering and Clinical Applications by Andrew Webb, Nadine Barrie Smith,
Cambridge University Press
227-0386-00LBiomedical Engineering Information W4 credits3GJ. Vörös, S. J. Ferguson, S. Kozerke, U. Moser, M. Rudin, M. P. Wolf, M. Zenobi-Wong
AbstractIntroduction into selected topics of biomedical engineering as well as their relationship with physics and physiology. The focus is on learning the concepts that govern common medical instruments and the most important organs from an engineering point of view. In addition, the most recent achievements and trends of the field of biomedical engineering are also outlined.
ObjectiveIntroduction into selected topics of biomedical engineering as well as their relationship with physics and physiology. The course provides an overview of the various topics of the different tracks of the biomedical engineering master course and helps orienting the students in selecting their specialized classes and project locations.
ContentIntroduction into neuro- and electrophysiology. Functional analysis of peripheral nerves, muscles, sensory organs and the central nervous system. Electrograms, evoked potentials. Audiometry, optometry. Functional electrostimulation: Cardiac pacemakers. Function of the heart and the circulatory system, transport and exchange of substances in the human body, pharmacokinetics. Endoscopy, medical television technology. Lithotripsy. Electrical Safety. Orthopaedic biomechanics. Lung function. Bioinformatics and Bioelectronics. Biomaterials. Biosensors. Microcirculation.Metabolism.
Practical and theoretical exercises in small groups in the laboratory.
Lecture notesIntroduction to Biomedical Engineering
by Enderle, Banchard, and Bronzino

227-0965-00LMicro and Nano-Tomography of Biological TissuesW4 credits3GM. Stampanoni, K. S. Mader
AbstractThe lecture introduces the physical and technical know-how of X-ray tomographic microscopy. Several X-ray imaging techniques (absorption-, phase- and darkfield contrast) will be discussed and their use in daily research, in particular biology, is presented. The course discusses the aspects of quantitative evaluation of tomographic data sets like segmentation, morphometry and statistics.
ObjectiveIntroduction to the basic concepts of X-ray tomographic imaging, image analysis and data quantification at the micro and nano scale with particular emphasis on biological applications
ContentSynchrotron-based X-ray micro- and nano-tomography is today a powerful technique for non-destructive, high-resolution investigations of a broad range of materials. The high-brilliance and high-coherence of third generation synchrotron radiation facilities allow quantitative, three-dimensional imaging at the micro and nanometer scale and extend the traditional absorption imaging technique to edge-enhanced and phase-sensitive measurements, which are particularly suited for investigating biological samples.

The lecture includes a general introduction to the principles of tomographic imaging from image formation to image reconstruction. It provides the physical and engineering basics to understand how imaging beamlines at synchrotron facilities work, looks into the recently developed phase contrast methods, and explores the first applications of X-ray nano-tomographic experiments.

The course finally provides the necessary background to understand the quantitative evaluation of tomographic data, from basic image analysis to complex morphometrical computations and 3D visualization, keeping the focus on biomedical applications.
Lecture notesAvailable online
LiteratureWill be indicated during the lecture.
327-0505-00LSurfaces, Interfaces & their Applications I Information W3 credits2V + 1UN. Spencer, M. P. Heuberger, L. Isa
AbstractAfter being introduced to the physical/chemical principles and importance of surfaces and interfaces, the student is introduced to the most important techniques that can be used to characterize surfaces. Later, liquid interfaces are treated, followed by an introduction to the fields of tribology (friction, lubrication, and wear) and corrosion.
ObjectiveTo gain an understanding of the physical and chemical principles, as well as the tools and applications of surface science, and to be able to choose appropriate surface-analytical approaches for solving problems.
ContentIntroduction to Surface Science
Physical Structure of Surfaces
Surface Forces (static and dynamic)
Adsorbates on Surfaces
Surface Thermodynamics and Kinetics
The Solid-Liquid Interface
Electron Spectroscopy
Vibrational Spectroscopy on Surfaces
Scanning Probe Microscopy
Introduction to Tribology
Introduction to Corrosion Science
Lecture notesScript Download:
LiteratureScript (20 CHF)
Book: "Surface Analysis--The Principal Techniques", Ed. J.C. Vickerman, Wiley, ISBN 0-471-97292
Prerequisites / NoticeChemistry:
General undergraduate chemistry
including basic chemical kinetics and thermodynamics

General undergraduate physics
including basic theory of diffraction and basic knowledge of crystal structures
327-1101-00LBiomineralization Information W2 credits2VK.‑H. Ernst
AbstractThe course addresses undergraduate and graduate students interested in getting introduced into the basic concepts of biomineralization.
ObjectiveThe course aims to introduce the basic concepts of biomineralization and the underlying principles, such as supersaturation, nucleation and growth of minerals, the interaction of biomolecules with mineral surfaces, and cell biology of inorganic materials creation. An important part of this class is the independent study and the presentation of original literature from the field.
ContentBiomineralization is a multidisciplinary field. Topics dealing with biology, molecular and cell biology, solid state physics, mineralogy, crystallography, organic and physical chemistry, biochemistry, dentistry, oceanography, geology, etc. are addressed. The course covers definition and general concepts of biomineralization (BM)/ types of biominerals and their function / crystal nucleation and growth / biological induction of BM / control of crystal morphology, habit, shape and orientation by organisms / strategies of compartmentalization / the interface between biomolecules (peptides, polysaccharides) and the mineral phase / modern experimental methods for studying BM phenomena / inter-, intra, extra- and epicellular BM / organic templates and matrices for BM / structure of bone, teeth (vertebrates and invertebrates) and mollusk shells / calcification / silification in diatoms, radiolaria and plants / calcium and iron storage / impact of BM on lithosphere and atmosphere/ evolution / taxonomy of organisms.

1. Introduction and overview
2. Biominerals and their functions
3. Chemical control of biomineralization
4. Control of morphology: Organic templates and additives
5. Modern methods of investigation of BM
6. BM in matrices: bone and nacre
7. Vertebrate teeth
8. Invertebrate teeth
9. BM within vesicles: calcite of coccoliths
10. Silica
11. Iron storage and mineralization
Lecture notesScript with more than 600 pages with many illustrations will be distributed free of charge.
Literature1) S. Mann, Biomineralization, Oxford University Press, 2001, Oxford, New York
2) H. Lowenstam, S. Weiner, On Biomineralization, Oxford University Press, 1989, Oxford
3) P. M. Dove, J. J. DeYoreo, S. Weiner (Eds.) Biomineralization, Reviews in Mineralogoy & Geochemistry Vol. 54, 2003
Prerequisites / NoticeEach attendee is required to present a publication from the field. The selection of key papers is provided by the lecturer.
No special requirements are needed for attending. Basic knowledge in chemistry and cell biology is expected.
402-0341-00LMedical Physics IW6 credits2V + 1UP. Manser
AbstractIntroduction to the fundamentals of medical radiation physics. Functional chain due to radiation exposure from the primary physical effect to the radiobiological and medically manifest secondary effects. Dosimetric concepts of radiation protection in medicine. Mode of action of radiation sources used in medicine and its illustration by means of Monte Carlo simulations.
ObjectiveUnderstanding the functional chain from primary physical effects of ionizing radiation to clinical radiation effects. Dealing with dose as a quantitative measure of medical exposure. Getting familiar with methods to generate ionizing radiation in medicine and learn how they are applied for medical purposes. Eventually, the lecture aims to show the students that medical physics is a fascinating and evolving discipline where physics can directly be used for the benefits of patients and the society.
ContentThe lecture is covering the basic principles of ionzing radiation and its physical and biological effects. The physical interactions of photons as well as of charged particles will be reviewed and their consequences for medical applications will be discussed. The concept of Monte Carlo simulation will be introduced in the excercises and will help the student to understand the characteristics of ionizing radiation in simple and complex situations. Fundamentals in dosimetry will be provided in order to understand the physical and biological effects of ionizing radiation. Deterministic as well as stochastic effects will be discussed and fundamental knowledge about radiation protection will be provided. In the second part of the lecture series, we will cover the generation of ionizing radiation. By this means, the x-ray tube, the clinical linear accelarator, and different radioactive sources in radiology, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine will be addressed. Applications in radiolgoy, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy will be described with a special focus on the physics underlying these applications.
Lecture notesA script will be provided.
535-0423-00LDrug Delivery and Drug TargetingW2 credits2VJ.‑C. Leroux, P. Luciani
AbstractThe students gain an overview on current principles, methodologies and systems for controlled delivery and targeting of drugs. This enables the students to understand and evaluate the field in terms of scientific criteria.
ObjectiveThe students dispose of an overview on current principles and systems for the controlled delivery and targeting of drugs. The focus of the course lies on developing a capacity to understand the involved technologies and methods, as well as an appreciation of the chances and constraints of their therapeutic usage, with prime attention on anticancer drugs, therapeutic peptides, proteins, nucleic acids and vaccines.
ContentThe course covers the following topics: drug targeting and delivery principles, radiopharmaceuticals, macromolecular drug carriers, liposomes, micelles, micro/nanoparticles, gels and implants, administration of vaccines, delivery of active agents in tissue engineeering, targeting at the gastrointestinal level, synthetic carriers for nucleic acid drugs, ophthalmic devices and novel trends in transdermal and nasal drug delivery.
Lecture notesSelected lecture notes, documents and supporting material will be directly provided or may be downloaded using

The website also displays additional information on peroral delivery systems, transdermal systems and systems for alternative routes (nasal, pulmonary) of delivery. These fields are covered in detail in the course Galenische Pharmazie II (Galenical Pharmacy II).
LiteratureA.M. Hillery, A.W. Lloyd, J. Swarbrick (Hrsg). Drug Delivery and Targeting, Taylor & Francis, London and New York 2001.

Y. Perrie, T. Rhades. Pharmaceutics - Drug Delivery and Targeting, Pharmaceutical Press, London and Chicago, 2010.

Further references will be provided in the course.
636-0507-00LSynthetic Biology II Restricted registration - show details W4 credits4AS. Panke, Y. Benenson, J. Stelling
Abstract7 months biological design project, during which the students are required to give presentations on advanced topics in synthetic biology (specifically genetic circuit design) and then select their own biological system to design. The system is subsequently modeled, analyzed, and experimentally implemented. Results are presented at an international student competition at the MIT (Cambridge).
ObjectiveThe students are supposed to acquire a deep understanding of the process of biological design including model representation of a biological system, its thorough analysis, and the subsequent experimental implementation of the system and the related problems.
ContentPresentations on advanced synthetic biology topics (eg genetic circuit design, adaptation of systems dynamics, analytical concepts, large scale de novo DNA synthesis), project selection, modeling of selected biological system, design space exploration, sensitivity analysis, conversion into DNA sequence, (DNA synthesis external,) implementation and analysis of design, summary of results in form of scientific presentation and poster, presentation of results at the iGEM international student competition (
Lecture notesHandouts during course
Prerequisites / NoticeThe final presentation of the project is typically at the MIT (Cambridge, US). Other competing schools include regularly Imperial College, Cambridge University, Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Princeton Universtiy, CalTech, etc.

This project takes place between end of Spring Semester and beginning of Autumn Semester. Registration in April.

Please note that the number of ECTS credits and the actual work load are disconnected.
Other Elective Courses
These courses may be suitable for the Molecular Bioengineering track. Please consult your track advisor.
551-0313-00LMicrobiology (Part I) Information W3 credits2VW.‑D. Hardt, L. Eberl, H.‑M. Fischer, J. Piel
AbstractAdvanced lecture class providing a broad overview on bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
ObjectiveThis concept class will be based on common concepts (Grundlagen der Biologie IIB, Teil Mikrobiologie) and introduce to the enormous diversity among bacteria and archaea. It will cover the current research on bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
ContentAdvanced class covering the state of the research in bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
Lecture notesUpdated handouts will be provided during the class.
LiteratureCurrent literature references will be provided during the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeEnglish
The lecture "Grundlagen der Biologie IIB", Mikrobiologie is the basis for this advanced lecture.
551-1103-00LMicrobial Biochemistry Information W4 credits2VJ. Vorholt-Zambelli, T. J. Erb, J. Piel
AbstractThe lecture course aims at providing an advanced understanding of the physiology and metabolism of microorganisms. Emphasis is on processes that are specific to bacteria and archaea and that contribute to the widespread occurrence of prokaryotes. Applied aspects of microbial biochemistry will be pointed out as well as research fields of current scientific interest.
ObjectiveThe lecture course aims at providing an advanced understanding of the physiology and metabolism of microorganisms.
ContentImportant biochemical processes specific to bacteria and archaea will be presented that contribute to the widespread occurrence of prokaryotes. Applied aspects of microbial biochemistry will be pointed out as well as research fields of current scientific interest. Emphasis is on concepts of energy generation and assimilation.

List of topics:
Eating sugars and letting them in
Challenging: Aromatics, xenobiotics, and oil
Complex: (Ligno-)Cellulose and in demand for bioenergy
Living on a diet and the anaplerotic provocation
Of climate relevance: The microbial C1 cycle
What are AMO and Anammox?
20 amino acids: the making of
Extending the genetic code
The 21st and 22nd amino acid
Some exotic biochemistry: nucleotides, cofactors
Ancient biochemistry? Iron-sulfur clusters, polymers
Secondary metabolites: playground of evolution
Lecture notesA script will be provided during the course.
Biology Courses
227-0945-00LCell and Molecular Biology for EngineersW6 credits4GC. Frei
AbstractThe course gives an introduction into cellular and molecular biology, specifically for students with a background in engineering. The focus will be on the basic organization of eukaryotic cells, molecular mechanisms and cellular functions. Textbook knowledge will be combined with results from recent research and technological innovations in biology.
ObjectiveAfter completing this course, engineering students will be able to apply their previous training in the quantitative and physical sciences to modern biology. Students will also learn the principles how biological models are established, and how these models can be tested.
ContentLectures will include the following topics: DNA, chromosomes, RNA, protein, genetics, gene expression, membrane structure and function, vesicular traffic, cellular communication, energy conversion, cytoskeleton, cell cycle, cellular growth, apoptosis, autophagy, cancer, development and stem cells.

In addition, three journal clubs will be held, where one/two publictions will be discussed. For each journal club, students (alone or in groups of up to three students) have to write a summary and discussion of the publication. These written documents will be graded, and count as 25% for the final grade.
Lecture notesScripts of all lectures will be available.
Literature"Molecular Biology of the Cell" (5th edition) by Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, and Walter.
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