Introduction to Experimental Biophysics : Biological Methods for Physical Scientists book cover
2nd Edition

Introduction to Experimental Biophysics
Biological Methods for Physical Scientists

ISBN 9781498799591
Published October 5, 2017 by CRC Press
764 Pages 141 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Praise for the First Edition

“essential reading for any physical scientist who is interested in performing biological research.” ―Contemporary Physics

"an ambitious text…. Each chapter contains protocols and the conceptual reasoning behind them, which is often useful to physicists performing biological experiments for the first time." –Physics Today

This fully updated and expanded text is the best starting point for any student or researcher in the physical sciences to gain firm grounding in the techniques employed in molecular biophysics and quantitative biology. It includes brand new chapters on gene expression techniques, advanced techniques in biological light microscopy (super-resolution, two-photon, and fluorescence lifetime imaging), holography, and gold nanoparticles used in medicine. The author shares invaluable practical tips and insider’s knowledge to simplify potentially confusing techniques. The reader is guided through easy-to-follow examples carried out from start to finish with practical tips and insider’s knowledge. The emphasis is on building comfort with getting hands "wet" with basic methods and finally understanding when and how to apply or adapt them to address different questions.

Jay L. Nadeau is a scientific researcher and head of the Biomedical Engineering in Advanced Applications of Quantum, Oscillatory, and Nanotechnological Systems (BEAAQONS) lab at Caltech and was previously associate professor of biomedical engineering and physics at McGill University.

Table of Contents

Series Preface





Chapter 1 Introduction and Background

Chapter 2 Basic Molecular Cloning of DNA and RNA

Chapter 3 Expression of Genes in Bacteria, Yeast, and Cultured Mammalian Cells

Chapter 4 Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology

Chapter 5 Protein Expression Methods

Joshua A. Maurer

Chapter 6 Protein Crystallization

Oliver M. Baettig and Albert M. Berghuis

Chapter 7 Introduction to Biological Light Microscopy

Coauthored with Michael W. Davidson

Chapter 8 Advanced Light Microscopy Techniques

Coauthored with Lina Carlini

Chapter 9 Advanced Topics in Microscopy II: Holographic Microscopy

Coauthored with Manuel Bedrossian

Chapter 10 Quantitative Cell Culture Techniques

Chapter 11 Semiconductor Nanoparticles (Quantum Dots)

Chapter 12 Gold Nanoparticles

Edward S. Allgeyer, Gary Craig, Sanjeev Kumar Kandpal, Jeremy Grant, and Michael D. Mason

Chapter 13 Advanced Topics in Gold Nanoparticles: Biomedical Applications

Chapter 14 Surface Functionalization Techniques

Chapter 15 Electrophysiology

Coauthored with Christian A. Lindensmith and Thomas Knöpfel

Chapter 16 Spectroscopy Tools and Techniques

Chapter 17 Introduction to Nanofabrication

Orad Reshef


Appendix A: Common Solutions

Appendix B: Common Media

Appendix C: Restriction Endonucleases

Appendix D: Common Enzymes

Appendix E: Fluorescent Dyes and Quenchers

Appendix F: Fluorescent Proteins


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Jay L. Nadeau is an associate professor of physics at Portland State University. She was previously a research professor of medical engineering at Caltech (2015-2017) and associate professor of biomedical engineering and physics at McGill University (2004-2015). Her research interests include nanoparticles, fluorescence imaging, and development of instrumentation for the detection of life elsewhere in the solar system.

She has published over 70 papers on topics ranging from theoretical condensed matter physics to experimental neurobiology to the development of anticancer drugs and, in the process, has used almost every technique described in this book. Her work has been featured in New Scientist, Highlights in Chemical Biology, Radio Canada’s Les Années Lumière, Le Guide des Tendances, and in educational displays in schools and museums. Her research group features chemists, microbiologists, roboticists, physicists, and physician-scientists, all learning from each other and hoping to speak each other’s language. A believer in bringing biology to physicists as well as physics to biologists, she has created two graduate-level courses: methods in molecular biology for physical scientists and mathematical cellular physiology. She has also taught pharmacology in the medical school and was one of the pioneers in the establishment of multiple mini-interviews for medical school admission.

She retains an adjunct position at McGill, and has collaborators in industry and academia in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan. She has given several dozen invited talks at meetings of the American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), the Committee on Space Research, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), and many others. Before McGill, she was a member of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Life Detection, and previous to that a Burroughs-Wellcome postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Henry A. Lester at Caltech. She received her PhD in physics from the University of Minnesota in 1996.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Jay Louise Nadeau

Jay Louise Nadeau

Associate Professor, Portland State University
Portland, Oregon, USA

Learn more about Jay Louise Nadeau »


"I was really very surprised how much I want to purchase this text. Our lab is engaged in research that spans multiple disciplines, from genetic engineering, biomaterials, immunotherapy, and tissue engineering. Hence the ‘tool box’ that members of my group have to develop is broad but requires detail. This text by Nadeau amazingly touches on the many if not all the techniques a modern molecular biology/bioengineering researcher needs."
—James D. Bryers, Professor of Bioengineering, University of Washington

"This book will prove to be extremely useful and motivating for any scientist, student or newcomer interested in applying concepts, methods and techniques of the physical and chemical sciences to fundamental problems in biology and medicine. It clearly enlightens the need of combining interdisciplinary approaches to tackle the main challenges in life sciences. The main strength of this book is that it provides not only some description of basic methods and techniques, but also gives access to more advanced approaches and to more sophisticated equipment. It brings physics and chemistry to biologists and physicians, as well as biology and medicine to physicists and chemists.
—Alain Arneodo, Directeur de Recherche, CNRS

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