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Lab Class: Introduction to Surface Analysis using Examples from the Life Sciences

Organisational Details

Type of module:
Lab Class within the microsystem engineering master programs

Credits: 3 ECTS

Location and time frame:
One week block course. Times will be announced via campus.uni-freiburg.de.

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rühe, Dr. Oswald Prucker, Dr. Karen Lienkamp, Dr. Thomas Brandstetter


With this lab class we try to establish a connection between important methods of surface analysis and interesting and modern research areas in the life sciences. The emphasis is on the surface analysis tools and, hence, we often investigate model surfaces that may not be directly relevant for the biomedical field but are just suited very well for the measurement. We believe that this approach is valuable as it provides the basic knowledge necessary to address the often complex problems in biology or biomedicine.

A one week course is certainly not sufficient for an in depth treatment of surface analysis. However, we hope that the techniques discussed during the course spark an interest in surface science. Exciting things happen at the interface between a material and it’s environment.

Topic 1:
Determination of the layer thickness and roughness of biocompatible coatings
Experiment 1: Using ellipsometry and x-ray reflectometry to determine the thickness of hydrogel coatings

Topic 2:
Wetting of surfaces – Surface free energies
Experiment 2: Measurement of the contact angles of test liquids in various surfaces; Determination of the surface free energy using the Zisman method
Inhalt: statische und dynamische Kontaktwinkel, Hysterese, Zisman-Plot
Experiment 3: Generation and characterization of microarrays on various surfaces

Topic 3:
Proteins / peptides on surfaces
Experiment 4: Measurement of the adsorption of blood proteins on surfaces using Surface Plasmon Resonance
Experiment 5: Characterization of the structure of protein layers using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Topic 4:
DNA at surfaces
Experiment 6: Visualisation of DNA on mica using the Atomic Force Microscope

ILIAS E-Learning link

More details, news and course materials will be provided through the ILIAS platform. Registration requires your university credentials and a course password which is available from prucker@imtek.de.

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