Techniques in Biomedical Sciences

This course aims to provide a fundamental foundation of biophysical techniques, which involves the study of biological systems and biological processes using physics-based methods or techniques based on physical principles. The course will introduce students to different chromatographic techniques, employed in biomedical research for the isolation, purification and characterization of biomolecules. Further, the application of these chromatographic techniques in medicine will also be discussed.

Secondly, the course will elaborate on different electrophoretic techniques and their principle of operation in light of their application in biomedical research and forensic medicine. Moreover, the course will explore the application of different spectroscopical methods, employed for the structure-function characterization of biomolecules. The principle of operation of these methods will also be elucidated.

Next, the principles of calorimetric and surface-plasmon resonance characterization of biomolecular interaction will be disseminated in light of their application in drug-discovery and protein-protein interaction studies. The course will also provide an introductory insight into mass- spectrometric methods, reflecting on the use of mass-spectrometry in proteomics, lipidomics and toxinomics.

During the length of the course the application of the different techniques will be explored through the discussion of research articles published in peer-reviewed journals of repute. Students will also be required to pursue laboratory sessions where the hands-on application of selected techniques will be demonstrated. Also, students will be required to address specific research questions applying the principles disseminated. These exercises will stem into take-home assignments and open-book assessments such that the student’s innovative, meta-cognitive and critical-thinking aptitudes are enthused. The course will conclude with a summative assessment where both knowledge and application of knowledge pertaining to the different techniques will be assessed.