BNT-50806 BioNanoTechnology; Introduction


Studiepunten 6.00

Excursion (one day)8
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. AH Velders
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. J van der Gucht
dr. A Bunschoten
dr. V Saggiomo
prof. dr. AH Velders
dr. ir. JHB Sprakel
Examiner(s)prof. dr. AH Velders

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

PCC-12303 General Chemistry 1 or PCC-12803 General Chemistry for the Life Sciences; ORC-120803 Organic Chemistry 1 or ORC-13803 Bio-Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences; BIC-10306 Practical Biological Chemistry.

Continuation courses:

BNT-30306 BioNanoTechnology: towards Nanomedicine; BNT-51306 BioNanoTechnology: Sensors & Devices; BNT-52306 Metal Complex Coordination Chemistry & Charcterization


BioNano Technology is an interdisciplinary field of research at the crossings of biotechnology and nanotechnology with application areas ranging from material science to medicine. Here, all four pillars of chemistry come together: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry, together with engineering and material sciences. In this course, an introduction will be given to natural and non-natural nanostructured materials in a biological context. Hereto, first, the emerging subdisciplinary fields of bionanotechnology will be placed in the historical context of nanotechnology & biotechnology. Consecutively, biological nanostructures will be treated, like nanomotors, biominerals and self-assembled macromolecular systems. Then, various types of solid and soft nanoparticle systems will be described, that can act as host material or scaffolds for use in biomimetic and biomedical applications. Solid nanoparticles comprise metals like gold or semiconductor particles like quantum dots. Soft nanoparticle systems include well-defined polymers like dendrimers and virus particles. Further focus will be put on non-covalent interactions, playing a crucial role in supramolecular chemistry in general, and in many biologically relevant interactions in particular. Relevant spectroscopic techniques will be treated, such as optical absorption & fluorescence spectroscopy, light scattering and, particularly, advanced magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Light, electron (e.g. SEM and TEM) and force (e.g. AFM) microscopy will be introduced as powerful tools to visualize nanomaterials. Also top-down microfluidics and microfabrication approaches will be treated. In the practical course, illustrative experiments are executed providing hands-on experience in preparation and characterization of nanomaterials, functionalization of surfaces by micro-contact printing, and non-covalent synthetic strategies. Diffusion-ordered NMR spectroscopy techniques will be practiced as innovative tool to determine and discriminate differently nano-sized compounds. Ethical aspects of emerging applications of (bio) nanotechnology will also be covered. Excursion to a nano-spin off company will illustrate application potential of BioNanoTechnology. Reading and interpreting scientific literature in the field of sensors and devices will be integral part of the course.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe the historical developments of nanotechnology and its impact on different areas of research and society;
- explain the difference between top-down and bottom-up nanofabrication;
- describe how natural and non-natural nanostructures play a role in biology, material science, biology, toxicity and biomedical applications;
- classify hard and soft nanoparticles from metal particles to oxides, semiconductor and nanotube material from dendrimers to micelles;
- apply covalent and non-covalent chemistry in discriminating surface functionalization strategies;
- perform synthesis and characterization of nanoparticles, surfaces and dendrimers;
- describe various microscopic techniques that can be used to characterize and visualize nanomaterials;
- read and interpret scientific literature in the field of (bio)nanotechnology.


- attend lectures, study the course material (book/ handouts / articles) and make exercises.
- perform illustrative experiments and write a report in which the relation between theory and laboratory classes is adequately described.


the final mark is determined by:
- the written exam (50%);
- the performance during the laboratory classes (10%); presence is compulsory;
- and the quality of the report on the experiments, literature assignments and excursions (40%).

Final mark is composed if all parts were marked with at least a 5.0 and the weighted average should be 5.5 or higher


Mel I. Mendelson. (2013). Learning Bio-Micro-Nanotechnology. 611p. ISBN: 9781420082036.

Verplicht voor: WUBNTBSc Minor Bionanotechnology1AF
Keuze voor: WUCHMBSc Minor Chemical Sciences1AF