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From Biofluids to Bionic

Module PH2311

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2022 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2022SS 2021

Basic Information

PH2311 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered irregular.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Focus Area Bio-Sensors in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 90 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2311 is Karen Alim.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


    This theoretical physics class provides an introduction to the physics of:
  • Flow networks across different forms of life
  • Flow networks in application
  • Fluid physics of flow in a tube
  • Physics of flow in networks
  • Transport dynamics
  • Supply and congestion dynamics
  • Optimal flow networks
  • Adaptive flow networks
  • Self-organization of flows in networks
  • Building optimal flow networks

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of the module the students are able to:

  1. Describe the physics of flows in networks and how they impact life and engineering applications from our vasculature to solar panels.
  2. Exemplify and discuss strategies which goals flow networks can optimize for and how they can achieve this optimization.
  3. Explain and compare different mechnisms how transport within flow networks can be controlled.
  4. Elaborate different application inspired by biofluid problems.
  5. Explain the prerequisits, causes, mechanisms how networks can self-optimize.
  6. Use the basic methods of literature retrieval, condense their knowlegde from scientific papers into a presentation and obtain presentation skills.


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 From Biofluids to Bionic Alim, K. Mon, 14:00–16:00, CPA EG.006A
HS 2 Seminar to From Biofluids to Bionic Alim, K.
RE 2 Revision Course to Seminar to From Biofluids to Bionic
Responsible/Coordination: Alim, K.

Learning and Teaching Methods

This module consists of a lecture and a seminar.

In the thematically structured lecture the theoretical contents are developed and discussed. Relevant experimental results from biology, biophysics and engineering are also presented. Building on that the theoretical models for their description are developed on the blackboard or using a slideshow together with the students. A dialogical structure of the lecture is emphasized to advance the analytic-physics intellectual power of the students and to encourage a critical scrutinization of the chosen approaches.

In the framework of the seminar students have the opportunity to learn under the supervision of a tutor how to retrieve scientific literature, critically read and extract the relevant information from research articles, and condense this information into a presentation understandable to a broad audience. They subsequently present their findings and recieve feedback on their presentation skills.


Blackboard Presentations, Slide Shows, Online-Meetings, Scientific Literature


"Elementary fluid dynamics" by David Acheson

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Explain how a vasculature could potentially self-organize to be most efficient
  • • Discuss how heat transfer in a solar panel is facilitated and which physical parameters are governing it.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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