Theory: 3 hours/week | Practicals: 2 hours/week | ECTS Units: 5

Content – Aim of the course

This course is offered to the students of the Department of Biochemistry & Biotechnology of the University of Thessaly in the fourth semester. It consists of lectures (three hours/week) and of four laboratory exercises (two hours each). In the frame of this course the students are familiarized with the physical principles that govern the formation and function of biological macromolecules and biological membranes as well as with the principles of the most important biophysical methods (experimental and theoretical). A basic knowledge of elementary differential and integral calculus is assumed. Also Word and Excel are used.

Analytical Description of the Course

  • Molecular interactions
  • Structure of proteins and nucleic acids
  • Biophysics of biological membranes
  • Biophysics of optical stimulation
  • Elements of Statistical Mechanics
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulations (MDS)
  • Elements of Quantum Physics
  • Absorption spectroscopy
  • Circular Dichroism
  • IR and RAMAN spectroscopy
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Fluorescence
  • Crystallography of biological macromolecules
  • Optical microscopy
  • Electron microscopy
  • Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Optical tweezers


  1. Calculation of the specific heat of the ribosomal protein ThX using data from molecular dynamics simulations.
  2. Calculation of the interaction energy between a protein and its solvent using data from molecular dynamics simulations.
  3. Analysis of IR spectra to infer secondary structure content of proteins.
  4. Analysis of X-ray diffraction data.

Practicals are mandatory and must be successfully completed for the students to be allowed to take part in the final examination.


The students are evaluated according to their performance in the written examination at the end of the semester.

Reading Suggestions

  • Θέματα Μοριακής Βιοφυσικής, Σ. Ι. Χαμόδρακα, Εκδόσεις ΣΥΜΜΕΤΡΙΑ, Αθήνα 1993.
  • Principles of Physical Biochemistry, Kensal E van Holde, Curtis Johnson, Pui Shing Ho, PRENTICE HALL, 2nd edition, 2006.

Teaching Material / E-class


Anastasia Katsandi