PHYC40430 Nanomechanics - from single molecules to single cells

Academic Year 2023/2024

The module covers a range of problems related to mechanical properties of biological systems at the nanoscale. The module will include the following topics: statistics of biopolymers; molecular adsorption at interfaces; single molecule mechanics, mechanics of polymer networks and brushes; force spectroscopy; collective phenomena and surface forces; microrheology; dynamics of nanostructured systems.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

After completing this module students should be able to understand the physical mechanisms responsible for structural transformations and ordering in biomolecular systems; be able to explain the origin of the main forces in biomolecular systems and their dependence on environmental conditions, and to be able to explain the principles of modern experimental and theoretical methods of studying mechanical properties of single molecules, molecular complexes, and membranes.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Supplementary reading materials and online content
Homework assignments
Scientific writing 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Homeworks Varies over the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: Written examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on assignments should be self-assessed during revision for exam.

The World of Nano-Biomechanics Second Edition by Atsushi Ikai
Introduction to Cell Mechanics and Mechanobiology by Christopher R. Jacobs, Hayden Huang, Ronald Y. Kwon
Name Role
Assoc Professor Vladimir Lobaskin Lecturer / Co-Lecturer