Biophysics Group / Nussberger Lab

Biomechanics of the Cell

This lecture is designed as an elective module for students of the master's degree programs in Technical Biology, Biomedical Engineering and Simulation Technology. The lecture discusses the basic biochemical and physical properties of the key cellular cytoskeletal players, such as the reversibly polymerizable actin filaments or microtubule nanotubes and lipid membranes, as well as the basic properties of their elasticity.

General Informationen


Prof. Dr. Stephan Nussberger






German or English


Thursdays 11:30 - 13:00 h / PWR 57 V9.330

  • The next lecture will take place in the winter semester 2020/2021.

Main topics of the lecture series

  • Topic 1: Structure and characteristics of the polymerization of intermediate filaments, actin filaments and microtubules
  • Topic 2: Parameters of Polymer Physics (Persistence Length, Kuhn Length, Elasticity moduli, Entropic spring)
  • Topic 3: Elastic characteristics of flexible protein filaments and macromolecules
  • Topic 4: Elastic properties of lipid membranes
  • An up-to-date overview with lecture dates can be found at C@MPUS
  • All documents will be made available for download in the ILIAS course.


  • Mechanics of the Cell (David Boal, Cambridge University Press, 2002)
  • Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton (Jonathon Howard, Sinauer Inc. Publishers, 2001
  • Lehrbuch der Biophysik (Erich Sackmann und Rudolf Merkel, Wiley-Vch, 2005)
  • Seminar paper and lecture on a topic of cellular biomechanics
  • Submission of the seminar paper and date of the lecture: by appointment at the end of the winter semester



Biophysics Group, Institute of Biomaterials and biomolecular Systems, University of Stuttgart

Pfaffenwaldring 57 , D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany

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