Biophysics 354 Fall semester

Current Course

Course Outline

Meeting: 136 Burrill Hall, 2.00 - 3.30 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays

Instructor: A. R. Crofts, 149 Davenport Hall (

Topic 			Physical chemistry discussed 		Lecture Hours

Cellular Metabolism
Introduction 		Biological energy conversion, 			1
			overview and global perspective.
Review of glyco- 	Thermodynamic functions; equilibrium 		2
lysis; anaerobic 	constant, pH, pK, enthalpy, entropy and
metabolism, etc. 	free energy.
Role of ATP in cell; 	Coupling between reactions; G'o for ATP 	3
Review of TCC;substrate hydrolysis; redox reactions; electrode
level phosphorylation. 	potential and relation to free energy.

Aerobic Bioenergetics
Electron transport 	Effects of ligands, H+, on redox 		3
chains; components 	potential. Redox potentiometry.
Electron transport 	Chemical potential; electrochemical 		3
chains as proton pumps. potential; membrane potential;
			coupling between electron and proton
ATP synthesis. 		Proton conduction, surface potential; 		3
			structure and mechanism of ATP-synthase.
Stoichiometry. 		Methodology; spectrophotometry; select- 	3
			ive electrodes. Work, power, and 
MID TERM EXAM (Take home exam, no class this day) 			1.5

Transport and Motility
Metabolite transport;  	Kinetics and thermodynamics of 			3
bacterial transport. 	transport.
Motility, muscle and 	Chemical and mechanical work. 			3
related systems.

Electron Transport and kinetics
Electron transfer; 	1st and 2nd order kinetics, relation to 	3
kinetic aspects 	equilibrium constant; activation energy,
			theory of electron transfer.

Solar Energy Conversion
Light harvesting 	Energetics of exciton transfer; 		3
			fluorescence; Forster theory.
Photochemical reaction 	Phototrapping; kinetics and 			3
centers 		thermodynamics; two-electron gate.
Photosynthetic electron Detailed discussion of mechanism;		3
transfer		bc-complex; oxygen evolution
Proton gradient		Membrane voltmeters and electrochromism; 	3
			rapid protolytic reactions; pH changes
Coupling in the steady 	Introduction to non-equilibrium 		3
state 			thermodynamics.


Authors: W.A. Cramer and D.B. Knaff

Title: Energy Transduction in Biological Membranes: A Textbook of Bioenergetics

Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York/Berlin/London

Authors: Tinoco, Sauer and Wang

Title: Physical Chemistry, Principles and Applications in the Biological Sciences.

Publishers: Prentice Hall

(You should have a Physical Chemistry textbook available for reference; the above is recommended as providing a useful biological perspective, but any good text will be sufficient).


Author: David Walker

Title: Energy, Plants and Man

Publishers: University Science Books, Mill Valley, CA 94941