Neutrons in Life Science and Biomaterials

Dates: May 4-8, 2020 (the week before the Swedish Neutron Week at LiU/Kolmården)
Location: Linköping University 

Registration: (Not open for registration yet. Link to come.)

Course leaders: Maria Sunnerhagen and Tommy Nylander 
Co-arranged with Reidar Lund and the Norwegian biocommunity within NNSP.


The aim of the course is to expose SwedNESS students to state-of-the-art neutron methodology in Life Science, and to provide a widened knowledge and experience basis for using biomaterials in their own research as a basis for building functional hypotheses.  Examples of how neutron methods in Life Science can be used to increased functional understanding and develop novel concepts will be given by internationally recognised expertise. Theory and examples of best-practice will be presented within the following areas: Proteins, Structure and dynamics, Biomolecules, Cells and surfaces, and Industrial applications. Exercises will include both hands-on protein analysis and evaluation of real neutron data in-silico. The course not only prepares for active use of neutrons in own research projects, but also for developing neutron experiments and methodology with biomaterials together with users of neutron infrastructures, and for evaluating and developing Life Science research programs in academy and industry using neutrons. 

Course details

Day schedule: 2 x 2 h lectures in the mornings, exercises and labs in the afternoons.
Scope: 5 days full-time course + exercises / submissions. 
Examination: Presenting seminars, submissions of exercises and lab reports. 

Preliminary schedule: 

Day 1: Proteins

  • Protein properties: Prerequisites for neutron study (Maria Sunnerhagen, LiU).
  • Labelling for neutron studies (DEMAX core facility, ESS/LU).
  • Biophysical pre-analysis before neutron studies (ProLinC core facility, LiU). 

Wet lab exercises: Protein characterisation and analysis.
Startup: Literature club.
Startup: Neutron beam time proposal in Life Science. 

Day 2: Structure and dynamics

  • Fiber diffraction, structure determination (Trevor Forsyth, ILL).
  • Small-angle neutron scattering (Cy Jeffries, EMB or Frank Gabel, ESRF).
  • Modelling and molecular simulations (Erik Lindahl, SciLifeLab).

Computer lab sessions working with real data. 

Day 3: Biomolecules - Lipids, carbohydrates, biopolymers

Lectures. (More information regarding lecturers to come.) 
Computer lab sessions working with real data.

Day 4: Cells and surfaces

Lectures. (More information regarding lecturers to come.) 
Computer lab sessions working with real data.

Day 5: Industrial applications and examination

Lectures. (More information regarding lecturers to come.) 

Examination: Literature and lab seminars, neutron beam time proposal and lab report hand-in. 


Tommy Nylander 
Prof. in Physical Chemistry at Lund University 
Contact info: