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The University of Southampton

ELEC6205 Bionanotechnology

Module Overview

This module will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of bionanotechnology, and introduce students to working in a cleanroom and a wet laboratory. ELEC6205 includes a bionanotechnology experiment involving state-of-the-art equipment that is normally only used by researchers. The experiment starts with fabrication and characterisation of a microstructured master mold, and continues with casting of an elastomeric stamp and printing microscale patterns of biological molecules. This will take place partly in the Mountbatten clean room and partly in the bio-ECS lab (Centre for Hybrid Biodevices) in the Life Sciences building. This module is a prerequisite for ELEC6210 Biosensors, except for students that already took ELEC3223 in Part 3. ELEC6205 cannot be taken by students who took ELEC3223 in Part 3.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Biomolecules and biomolecular interactions
  • The basic physics of the behaviour of molecules and molecular interactions
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain biophysical mechanisms relevant in the context of bionanotechnology
  • Evaluate the experimental techniques used to characterise bio-nano systems
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate experimental procedures and experimental data
  • Write concise engineering reports
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Perform some basic wet laboratory procedures
  • Perform soft lithography procedures involving biomolecules
  • Graduate


Fundamentals: - Molecules, proteins, DNA and cells - DNA for coding and information storage - Behaviour of molecules in solution - Kinetics and reaction rates - Dielectrics and optics - Electrokinetics and particle/molecular interaction forces Applications: - Scanning probe microscopy – measuring molecular interactions and forces - Single molecule detection techniques - Interfacing bio-systems with electronics - Biomimetics and biosensing - Molecular motors - Patterning single molecules - Nano-structured surfaces – applications in cell engineering - DNA machines; computing with molecules and DNA Practical work: - Fabrication of patterned wafer ('master') in clean room - Surface modification procedures and evaluations - Culture cells on patterned surfaces.

Learning and Teaching

Wider reading or practice65
Preparation for scheduled sessions11
Follow-up work11
Completion of assessment task25
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Niemeyer CM and Mirkin CA (2005). Nanobiotechnology Concepts, Applications and Perspectives. 

Comprehensive lecture notes will be provided. 

Willner I and Katz I (2005). Bioelectronics: from theory to applications. 

Pethig R and Smith S (2013). Introductory Bioelectronics. 

Jones RAL (2007). Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life. 

Hames D and Hooper NM (2011). Biochemistry BIOS Instant Notes series. 

Atkins P (2010). Physical Chemistry. 

Nelson DL and Cox MM (2013). Principles of Biochemistry. 

Alberts B (2008). Molecular Biology of the Cell. 


Assessment Strategy

The lab report (coursework 1) will not be marked if the student has not attended the laboratory sessions.


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 30%
Final Assessment  70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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