Course syllabus


FBRN10, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2021/22
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering, LTH
Decided by: PLED F/Pi
Date of Decision: 2021-04-23

General Information

Elective for: F4, F4-f, MFOT1
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English


The course aims to provide knowledge on light interactions with diverse biological tissue found in living beings, organic matter and our natural surroundings. Understanding these interactions allows to select appropriate techniques and design optimal instrumentation for probing key features to characterize, classify or grade the health/quality of diverse biological samples. The course grasps spatial scales from microscopic cellular level, through the macroscopic regime to remote sensing of our biosphere. The course covers underlying physical principles of light in biology with a tour of biophotonic instrumental approaches developed until today. For deepened understanding and practical experience the course will offer a creative hands-on project for student groups to freely develop a simple setup for a biophotonic technique, apply it to a selected sample and present it at the end of the course.The course equips the student with a unique engineering toolset valuable for development and application of modern photonics in life sciences.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must




The course in biophotonics provides an introduction to optical phenomena encountered when measuring on biological samples and introduces optical diagnostic methods and instrumentation employed for evaluating the state of biological tissue and organic matter. Methods include: Remote sensing techniques for studies of biological flora and fauna. Practical laser spectroscopy based on light emitting diodes for measurements of absorption and fluorescence. Polarization techniques for analysis of light scattered from biological samples. Furthermore, the course includes imaging and microscopy techniques for investigations of small structures. Moreover, aspects of data analysis are treated. A particular emphasis is put on projects letting student groups build their own instrumentation for a variety of case studies. The projects will be oriented around the combination of an instrumental approach with a biological sample and will include aspects of optoelectronics, optomechanical construction, acquisition, measurements, data interpretation and presentation. Two other laboratory exercises deal with polarization of light scattered from biological samples, spectral imaging and microscopy. Additional insights in biophotonic diagnostics are gained from visits to laboratories of research partners at Lund University and related local industry.

Examination details

Grading scale: TH - (U,3,4,5) - (Fail, Three, Four, Five)
Assessment: To pass the course as a whole requires pass on laboratory exercises and the written exam. The laboratory exercises are carried out in groups of two, with an oral presentation for the workshop project and written reports for the two other exercises. For the exam, understanding of the course contents is more important than memorizing. The final grade is dictated by the result achieved on the written exam.

The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability.


Assumed prior knowledge: Basic courses in physics and optics, FAFN01 Lasers, FAFN25 Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy.
The number of participants is limited to: No

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Christian Brackmann,
Course coordinator: Mikkel Brydegaard,