Biophysical Chemistry: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Biophysical Chemistry

1st Edition

By Dagmar Klostermeier, Markus G. Rudolph

CRC Press

770 pages | 483 Color Illus. | 2 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-12-19
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Biophysical Chemistry explores the concepts of physical chemistry and molecular structure that underlie biochemical processes. Ideally suited for undergradate students and scientists with backgrounds in physics, chemistry or biology, it is also equally accessible to students and scientists in related fields as the book concisely describes the fundamental aspects of biophysical chemistry, and puts them into a biochemical context.

The book is organized in four parts, covering thermodynamics, kinetics, molecular structure and stability, and biophysical methods. Cross-references within and between these parts emphasize common themes and highlight recurrent principles. End of chapter problems illustrate the main points explored and their relevance for biochemistry, enabling students to apply their knowledge and to transfer it to laboratory projects.


  • Connects principles of physical chemistry to biochemistry
  • Emphasizes the role of organic reactions as tools for modification and manipulation of biomolecules
  • Includes a comprehensive section on the theory of modern biophysical methods and their applications


"Biophysical Chemistry by Klostermeier and Rudolph is an excellent up-to-date addition to current text book resources covering biophysical theory and practice. The book is well-structured into four main parts on Thermodynamics, Kinetics, Molecular Structure and Stability, and finally Methods. It is understandable and easy to read. The figures are spectacular, and the equations are well defined. The index is thorough, and the last Appendix briefly summarises the mathematical concepts used in the book, although some mathematical training would be required to derive the steps to reach some of the resulting equations. It was particularly pleasing to see sections on X-ray Free Electron Lasers and on the use of lipidic cubic phase for the crystallisation of membrane proteins, since these cutting edge approaches are at the forefront of structural biology research.

The layout of the book aids understanding by providing boxes which explain particular concepts and formalisms, while not interrupting the general flow. Overall the book is very comprehensive and will be appropriate as a companion and supplement to the first and second year courses in biophysics provided for our Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry undergraduates here at Oxford."

—Elspeth F. Garman, Professor of Molecular Biophysics, University of Oxford

"This is a superb book with something for everyone who works in any aspect of modern molecular biology. It integrates all major structural and biophysical techniques in a single volume describing them with sufficient rigor for serious physical scientists, but also provides sufficient clarity and practical examples such that those lacking interest or more formal training can still clearly appreciate what is going on. Every technique and most aspects of theory are beautifully illustrated with simple diagrams. The emphasis is on giving the user enough insight that they can decide whether a particular technique is what they need to solve their problem, with at the same time enough information to allow them to design sensible experiments.

In one volume it replaces three or four of the books on my office shelf that have much less comprehensive coverage of such topics, and at the same time it is right up to date, for example in its descriptions of single molecule spectroscopy and imaging, and the recent developments in electron microscopy. It will also be a useful advanced teaching tool since each chapter ends with a series of questions that allow students to test their understanding. I’m sure my laboratory will end up consulting it regularly."

—Peter Stockley, Professor of Biological Chemistry, University of Leeds, UK

"This book provides an excellent and consistent presentation of biochemistry, biophysics and structural methods for macromolecules. I particularly liked the didactic approach of the authors, going from the thermodynamics to kinetics and further to interactions and structure to arrive at a complete picture. This book offers both comprehensive theoretical coverage and nice guides to practical problems solving."

—Dmitri I. Svergun, Group Leader and Senior Scientist, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hamburg Unit

"In these busy times with all the excitement about elaborate techniques that directly visualize cellular processes, the underlying knowledge that is necessary to truly understand these processes, and the techniques that are applied to gain this knowledge, is often neglected or covered rather incompletely.

The textbook by Klostermeier and Rudolph seems to be a remedy to this problem since it manages in an impressive way to bridge elementary principles of biophysical chemistry and structural biology, and descriptions of modern techniques. I also find the style of the book very pleasing since it is a perfect synthesis of traditional textbook style, that is simply necessary in this field, and modern graphical annotations including the "box-principle" where important side-themes are summarized and presented optimally. I’m convinced that this textbook will manage to sooth the common fear of biophysical chemistry, and allow students and researchers from other fields to swiftly master these important topics."

—Jochen Reinstein (Priv. Doz., Dr. rer. nat.), Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research

"The book Biophysical Chemistry will be a must-have for students and lecturers in a broad field of Biochemistry, Biophysics, Biology and of course Biophysical chemistry. It is very clearly and precisely written presenting the fundamentals of thermodynamics and kinetics, before focusing on the structure and stability of biomolecules. In addition, an up to date presentation of the most important biophysical techniques used to study macromolecules is given. Each chapter is followed by questions to allow students (but also teachers) to reflect critically the subject leading to deeper understanding of the main text.

In summary: a first class and immensely useful textbook, indispensable for students but also for scientists in the field."

—Hans-Joachim Galla, Professor Emeritus, Institute for Biochemistry, University of Muenster

Table of Contents


Systems and their surroundings

State functions and the laws of thermodynamics

Energetics and chemical equilibria

Thermodynamics of transport processes



Reaction velocities and rate laws

Integrated rate laws for uni and biomolecular reactions

Reaction types

Rate-limiting steps

Binding reactions: one-step and two-step binding

Steady-state (enzyme) kinetics

Complex reaction schemes and their analysis

Temperature dependence of rate constants

Principles of catalysis

Molecular structure and stability

Molecular structure and interactions


Nucleic acids

Computational biology

Optical spectroscopy

Magnetic resonance

Solution scattering

X-ray crystallography

Imaging and microscopy

Force measurements

Transient kinetic methods

Molecular mass, size, and shape


Prefixes, units, constants

Mathematical concepts used in this book

About the Authors

Dagmar Klostermeier is of the University of Muenster, Germany.

Markus G. Rudolph is of the Pharma Research & Early Development Division in the Roche Group, Switzerland.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Biochemistry
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Cytology
SCIENCE / Physics