Single-Course English 10 ECTS

Molecular thermodynamics, transport, and analytics

Overall Course Objectives

The objective of the course is to provide insight into thermodynamics and transport processes at the length scale of individual biomolecules and other macromolecules. The aim is to give you an understanding of the forces and phenomena that drive molecular interactions in biological and biochemical systems and devices at the nano- to microscale.

Learning Objectives

  • perform Gibbs free energy calculations to predict reaction equilibrium constants.
  • explain the phenomenon and consequences of solvation for reaction equilibrium and kinetics.
  • analyze a defined system with respect to binding strength and kinetic parameters.
  • explain macroscopic diffusion and various types of boundary conditions.
  • apply Fick’s equations to diffusion problems and solve simple diffusion problems.
  • explain diffusion phenomena at microscopic length scales and calculate the diffusion coefficient from a single trajectory.
  • calculate solutions to simple flow problems and interpret the results.
  • apply a COMSOL app for a biosensor and quantify the biosensor’s response.
  • analyze a defined system with respect to molecular transport.
  • explain variation in biological populations and apply the correct statistical tools to assess this variation.
  • describe biological barriers and explain transport mechanisms that allow nanomaterials to pass.
  • choose optimal experimental tools to assess that a given material meets the set criteria (e.g. quality, binding efficiency, transport).

Course Content

The course introduces molecular thermodynamics from a chemical, physical and biological perspective.

In the first part, we will cover the forces between macromolecules or between such molecules and solid surfaces, as well as the key importance of entropy to understand and predict molecular interactions, including binding affinity and binding rates between an analyte and a target molecule.

In the second part, we will explore both passive and active transport mechanisms, and link these properties to biological and bioanalytical processes. You will also be introduced to numerical simulation tools for analyzing the properties of simplified biosensor designs.

In the third and last part of the course, we will survey key analysis methods to characterize molecular interaction and transport properties with an outset in real-world academic and industrial applications.

Recommended prerequisites

02402 or similar introductory statistics;
26000 or similar general chemistry;
26202 or similar introductory physical chemistry;
27008 or similar introductory life science or biochemistry

Teaching Method

Lectures, problem sessions, classroom discussions, exercises.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks


Health Tech


DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 22283
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48

15.000,00 DKK