FPProvisional000006 ELEC6 - Bionanotechnology
Bionanotechnology is the study of biology, in particular biological machines, and the application of biological building blocks to solve engineering challenges and create new areas of technological development. Learning about the structure and function of the inner workings of biological systems such as cells, bacteria and viruses has been used to improve existing applications of nanotechnology and to develop entirely new applications. Examples of bionanotechnological study include: mechanical properties of materials, such as cell interaction with surfaces, nanopatterns and nanoparticles; electrical and optical effects, such as electrical stimulation, energy storage, absorption, luminescence and fluorescence; and computing via chemical wet computers and DNA computing.
This module provides an introduction to the theory and practice of bionanotechnology, and introduces students to working in a cleanroom and a wet laboratory. It covers the types of macromolecules which form the building blocks of life, covering cell components such as DNA and proteins, describing how they are synthesised, interact and the role they play in cells. The structure and forms of the different molecules and the process by which they are constructed and how they exchange information will be framed within the context of the operation of machines and the potential engineering uses that the naturally occurring mechanisms can be put to.
ELEC6205 includes an experimental exercise involving state-of-the-art equipment that is normally only used by researchers, to investigate the methods used for integrating biological materials and mechanisms with the artificial constructs of engineering. The experiment starts with fabrication and characterisation of a microstructured master mould, and continues with casting of an elastomeric stamp and printing microscale patterns of biological molecules. This will take place partly in the Mountbatten Teaching Cleanroom and partly in the bio-ECS lab (Centre for Hybrid Biodevices) in the Life Sciences building.