Opportunity for candidates with BSc: Explore how the interplay of biological building blocks can generate life and how to replicate life-like systems. Combine new technologies by learning-by-doing and creatively use biological substances to gain new insights and invent applications in the life sciences. The direct-track PhD program Matter to Life is part of the Max Planck School Matter to Life

Please refer to campus.tum.de for lectures & seminars that are taught currently by members of this laboratory. Below please find the lecture material for the course on mechanics and dynamics of biomacromolecules taught by HD within the biophysics master's program of TUM. 

Biophysics of the Cell I+II

This course should contain most of what you should know about the physical and chemical aspects of biological macromolecules (and their interactions) to carry out research in molecular and cellular biophysics. The author of the lecture files is H.Dietz, but some of the slides contain privileged material from other sources. The files are for your personal use only.

SUMMER 2019: Please see here for course materials https://shwca.se/DIETZLABTEACHING.

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Administrative stuff

On biological machines

E.coli book-keeping

Molecular length- and time scales, forces, energies

lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 20.2 MB

Chapter 2 - Life in bitumen

Fluid dynamics:

- Navier-Stokes Equation

- Flow through narrow channels

- The Reynolds Number

- The Low-Reynolds regime: Life in bitumen.


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 3.0 MB

Chapter 3 - Life in a thermal hurricane

Basics of diffusion:

- The microscopic perspective

- Smoluchowski Equation / Diffusion Equation

- Transport with Fokker-Planck

- Einstein Relation

- Crowded Environments

- Diffusion as Transport Mechanism


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 4.0 MB

Chapter 4 - Interlude: Gene regulation

The regulation of lactose metabolism in E.coli. (descriptive)

- Regulated recruitment

- RNA polymerase, Lac repressor, CAP activator

- Protein-DNA recognition

- Detection of physiological signals


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 2.7 MB

Chapter 5 - Macromolecule meets macromolecule

Fundamental reaction speed limits:

- Free diffusion to capture

- Free diffusive release

- Diffusion to capture / release in potentials

- Reduction of dimensionality

- Kramers and Arrhenius


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 2.4 MB

Chapter 6 - Lost in transition

Rate equations and equilibrium aspects of:

- Irreversible Decay 

- Reversible two-state system

- Two-state systems under force: shifted equilibrium, accelerated rates


Interlude 2:

- Protein unfolding under force

- Case study: 3D Mechanics of Green Fluorescent Protein


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 6.8 MB

Chapter 7 - Let's stick together

Dynamics of bimolecular reactions:

- Steady-state characteristics, Gibbs Free Energy 

- Equilibration time scales 

- Concentration / Affinity jumps

- Cooperative binding: Molecular logic

- Response function of a repressed gene

- Response function of a gene controlled by an activator


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 2.9 MB

Chapter 8 - Enzyme kinetics

Dynamics of enzymatic catalysis:

- How enzymes can speed up chemical reactions

- Michaelis-Menten enzyme kinetics 

- Non-Michealis-Menten kinetics

- Enzyme activation 

- Energy available for work by substrate flux

- Examples: ATP Synthase, Kinesin


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 3.7 MB

Chapter 9 - Polymer elasticity and molecular random walks

Shape and mechanics of polymeric chains:

- The 1D random chain: end-to-end distance, entropic elasticity

- The freely-jointed chain model

- Bending mechanics of slender rods

- Persistence length as a measure for stiffness

- The worm-like chain


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 5.3 MB

Chapter 10 - Beams and polymers are everywhere!

A few examples on where bending and stretching matters:

- Beams in gene regulation: the case of the lac repressor and other suspects

- Beams in the cytoskeleton: Actin structure and mechanics, other filaments

- Fiber stretching and molecular unfolding in blood clotting

- Polymer elasticity as a molecular ruler for structure determination.

- A few afterwords



lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 9.4 MB

Part II

Part II - Motors, membranes, and biological design principles

Administrative stuff, syllabus, and course calendar

- contains instructions for how to prepare the seminar project



lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 3.1 MB

Chapter X -Stochastic Chemical Kinetics

- Reminder probability theory

- Specifying a chemical system

- The specific probability rate constant

- Collisions with impact threshold

- The chemical master equation (CME)

- Solving the CME

- The Gillespie algorithm


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 11.2 MB

Chapter 11 - Translational molecular motors: an overview

A crash-course in molecular motor traffic:

- Types of motors

- Methods of experimental analysis

- Kinesin: structure, stepping behaviour etc

- Dynein: structure, stepping behaviour etc

- Myosin: structure, stepping behaviour etc


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 10.2 MB

Chapter 12 - Molecular motors as random walkers

Understanding molecular motor behaviour:

- The one-state-model

- The one-state-motor under force

- Ratchet-shaped energy profiles

- Fluctuation analysis

- The two-state-model


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 3.0 MB

Chapter 13 - ATP Hydrolysis as a source of energy

The molecular details of ATP hydrolysis

- ΔG when ATP is split into ADP and P

- Motors move along a ΔG gradient

- Motors move faster with higher [ATP]

- Structure of ATP and the hydrolysis reaction

- At least 8 distinct states are involved in motor stepping

- Case study: the complete ATP hydrolysis cycle of Myosin II


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 3.4 MB

Chapter 14 - ATP Synthesis by ATP Synthase

ATP Synthase: a marvelous mechano-chemical factory

- Structure of ATP Synthase

- F1-Motor catalyzes ATP hydrolysis and synthesis

- Experimental evidence

- F1 ATPase hydrolysis cycle

- F0-Motor rotation mechanism

- Minimum delta pH for ATP synthesis


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 5.6 MB

Chapter 15 - How cytoskeletal filaments might form

Polymerization kinetics

- The equilibrium polymer

- Nucleated growth

- Treadmilling

- Dynamic instability

- Multi-stranded filaments

- Propulsion by polymerization


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 5.3 MB

Chapter 16 - Kinetic Proofreading & Robustness

The concept of proofreading in

- protein translation

- immuno recognition

The concept of robustness in 

- bacterial chemotaxis

And some notes on translocation ratchets.


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 5.2 MB

Chapter 17 - Reaction and Diffusion.

More on reactions.

- beyond bimolecular reactions

- feedback, oscillations


Reminder on diffusion.

Reaction - Diffusion Equations

- typical structure

- spatial and temporal discretization


lecture file
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 2.1 MB