Lecturer: Bernhard Hidding, Grace Gloria Manahan

Institution: Strathclyde

Hours Equivalent Credit: 12

Assessment: Continuous Assessment

This course is cross-listed with the Physics and Life Sciences theme.

Course Summary

Lasers, particle beams and radiation such as x-rays are essential instruments for imaging, drug research and treatment in life sciences. The course would address both established and cutting edge radiation generation methods for a variety of biomedical applications, as well as occurrence of radiation in nature and their effects. Then, the mechanisms of interaction of the different types of radiation on the nuclear, atomic, molecular, cell and system level (e.g. the patient) are discussed. Finally, fundamentals and progress in biomedical applications such as x-ray radiography, magnetic resonance tomography (MRT), positron emission tomography (PET), electron microscopy and other radiology imaging techniques, radiation-assisted drug R&D as well as laser surgery, cancer radiotherapy with photons, electrons, protons, neutrons and ions, and other treatment techniques will be covered. Next to providing an overview on the physics behind these techniques, the course will also include practical considerations and is intended to facilitate and support interdisciplinary research projects and collaborative applications.

Lecturer: Kishan Dholakia, Carlos Penedo-Esteiro, Malte Gather

Institution: St Andrews

Hours Equivalent Credit: 33

Assessment: Attendance, news and views article.

This is a final year undergraduate course organised by University of St Andrews.

Course Summary

The module will expose students to the exciting opportunities offered by applying photonics methods and technology to biomedical sensing and detection. A rudimentary biological background will be provided where needed. Topics include  fluorescence microscopy and assays including time-resolved applications, super-resolution imaging, optical tweezers for cell sorting and DNA manipulation, single molecule studies, photodynamic therapy, lab-on-a-chip concepts and bio-MEMS.  

Two thirds of the module will be taught as lectures, including guest lectures by specialists, with the remaining third consisting of problem-solving exercises, such as writing a specific news piece  on a research paper, assessed tutorial sheets and a presentation. A visit to a biomedical research laboratory at St Andrews using various photonics methods will also be arranged.


Lecturer:  Andrei Pisliakov

Institution: Dundee

Hours Equivalent Credit: 22

This is an undergraduate course run by the University of Dundee.

Course Summary

An overview of fundamental areas of biology for students with little biology background, emphasizing evolution, connections between length and time scales in biology, and the potential role of physics to inform biology at all of these different scales. Introduction: what is life, Darwin’s theory of evolution, Mendelian genetics, tree of life, basics of prokaryotic cells, basics of eukaryotic cells. Biochemistry and molecular biology: structure and functions of proteins, structure of DNA, DNA replication, transcription, translation, protein folding. Cell biology: membrane structure, membrane transport, metabolism and mitochondria, cytoskeleton, cell cycle. Multicellular Organisms: germ cells, fertilisation, development. Populations: introduction to ecology, population genetics and evolution.