Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering

Professor in charge: Alexander Frey

Extent:  60 credits

Abbreviation: -

Code: CHEM3028

Objectives

The major in Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering gives graduates cutting edge scientific knowledge and skills enabling the students to integrate into the international life science technologies job market or to pursue doctoral studies in specialist fields. Graduates obtain a strong multidisciplinary knowledge of biological sciences and chemistry at the interface with technology and the ability to apply this knowledge in the fields of applied research, development, translational research and production, both in a research and business environment. The major is strongly research driven and is tightly linked to research activities related to the fields of biotechnology, organic chemistry, and biomaterials science at the School of Chemical Engineering. Employment sectors for graduates are within the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries within the broad context of engineering combined with chemistry and biotechnology.

Graduates in Biosystems and -materials major receive a broad training and in-depth knowledge, combined with practical experience. The major provides a solid understanding of biological phenomena, biomaterials and small organic molecules important to the field of Life science. At the core of the teaching are the understanding of molecular and cellular level phenomena, reprogramming of cells, molecular design and characterization of small pharmaceutically active molecules, and the synthesis and characterization of biomaterials. Specialization during the major allows acquiring in depth understanding in one of the selected fields or studying at the interface of the different fields.

Content and structure

The core contents of the major are based on a sound understanding of cellular systems (cell and molecular biology, biophysics, systems biology) and their reprogramming (synthetic biology), organic chemistry in the context of medicinal and natural products chemistry and the synthesis and characterization of materials and their applications in medicine (scaffolds, implants, drug release). The core contents focus on:

Structure and function of biomolecules in pro- and eukaryotic cells with respect to major metabolic pathways, cell energetics, physiology and regulatory pathways at the molecular level and interactions of biological molecules. Enzyme structure and function, enzyme catalysis and thermodynamics of biological systems.

Cellular physiology and its adaptation to different stimuli from the molecular to cellular level using transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics including modeling of complex systems.

Engineering of cellular systems including tissue engineering, stem cells and use of genetic engineering and synthetic biology for programming of cellular circuits, pathways or designing of bio-based materials, regulatory requirements and principles of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)

Synthesis, purification, characterization and application of synthetic and biopolymers. Polymer processing and engineering using chemistry and enzymes.

Colloid and surface science of biological materials, surfaces of materials as an interface to biology, interactions of inert and bioactive compounds (scaffolds, implants, wound dressing, etc) with biological systems

Pharmacologically active compounds derived from small molecules and natural biomacromolecules from the viewpoint of molecular interactions. Drug classes, based on both disease types and chemical structural classes, are discussed.

Use of mass spectrometry (MS), infrared spectroscopy (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) in the structural determination and identification of organic compounds

The core contents also include ethics of the profession and codes of conduct, organizing personal and teamwork and working part of a team, delegating and taking responsibility, effective communication of scientific knowledge to a forum of peers and experts and to the general public, conveying the key role of technology, engineering and science in promoting health and welfare.

The major is formed of compulsory studies of 40 cr and elective specialization courses of 20 cr in total. The compulsory studies include 15 cr studies that are common for all students in Master’s Programme in Life Science Technologies.

code

course

credits

period/year

compulsory common courses of the programme (15 credits):

MS-E2115

Experimental and Statistical Methods in Biological Sciences

5

1/1

JOIN-E3000

Life Science Technologies Project Course

10

III-V/1

compulsory courses of the major (25 credits):

CHEM-E8100

Organic Structural Analysis

5

I/1

CHEM-E8110

Laboratory Course in Biosystems and Biomaterials Eng.

5

I-II/1

CHEM-E8120

Cell Biology

5

II/1

CHEM-E8130

Medicinal Chemistry

5

II/1

CHEM-E3120

Microbiology

5

I/1

optional courses of the major (choose 20 credits):

CHEM-E8105

Enzymatic and Biomimetic Catalysis

5 IV/1
CHEM-E8115

Cell factory

III/1
CHEM-E8125

Synthetic biology

5 IV-V/1 

CHEM-E8135

Microfluides and BioMEMS

5

III-IV/1

CHEM-E2100

Polymer Synthesis

5 I/2
CHEM-E2130

Polymer Properties

II/2

CHEM-E2150

Interfacial Phenomena in Biobased Systems

5

III-IV/1

CHEM-E2155

Biopolymers

5

III-IV/1

CHEM-E3150

Biophysical chemistry

5

III/1

CHEM-E3170

Systems biology

5

IV-V/1

CHEM-E3225

Cell- and Tissue Engineering

5

III/1

CHEM-E4150

Reactivity in Organic Chemistry

5

II/1

CHEM-E4195

Selectivity in Organic Synthesis

5

IV/1

CHEM-E4295

Asymmetric Synthesis of Natural Products

5

I/2

CHEM-E5135

Biomimetic Materials and Technologies

5

IV-V/1 or 2

Recommendations for elective studies

For the elective studies to accompany the major, it is recommended to take a minor subject.

The following minors given in Aalto University are recommended:

Life Science Technologies programme minors:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Biosensing and Bioelectronics
  • Complex Systems
  • Human Neuroscience and Technology
  • Biomedical engineering

Suitable elective courses can be found from the list of elective specialization courses and selected courses from Bioinformatics or other majors in Life Science Technologies program.

Courses offered by University of Helsinki can be taken through the Flexible Study Rights (JOO) scheme (www.joopas.fi).

 

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