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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Immunology & Cell Biology for Engineers
Module Code BE309
School School of Biotechnology
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Denis Collins
Semester 2: Denis Collins
Autumn: Denis Collins
Module TeachersPaul Cahill
Denis Collins
Denise Harold
Neil Conlon
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to provide students with a basic understanding of the human immune system, and the fundamental principles and resultant applications of an immune response both in vivo and ex vivo. Over the course of this module, students will gain knowledge in how antibodies protect a host against disease-causing pathogens, how these antibodies can be produced in the laboratory, and how specific antibodies can be tested, validated, and implemented for immunoanalytical and therapeutic applications.

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand how the human immune system responds to different disease-causing pathogens
2. Appreciate the origin, production, and role of antibodies in fighting infection in a host
3. Detail the different types of antibodies, and how they can be produced in a laboratory setting
4. Understand the use and application of antibodies in modern-day bioanalytical and therapeutic strategies
5. Detail what constitutes an immunosensor and how this technology can be utilised for immunoassay development
6. Understand the critical features of an antibody-based array and how this approach can be developed into point-of-care devices
7. Appreciate the ethical considerations that need to be applied in the work flow when developing and validating an immunoassay

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture2424 Lectures spanning four key sections will be delivered via online format
Tutorial6Tutorials will be formally scheduled via Zoom after the delivery of each quiz to revise the examined and allow for questions on the course content. Tutorials will also be scheduled as requested in advance of the written exam component/as needed
Independent Study60The continuous assessment build of this module will require the student to partake in study throughout the semester
Directed learning35Students will be assigned specific reading materials to enhance learning and knowledge. Understanding of this material is expected in tutorials and the student should work independently on this in parallel with the course content being delivered.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The Immune System
An introduction to the human immune system spanning innate and adaptive immunity.

A detailed examination of antibodies; their structure, function, the different types, different formats, and varying methods of production

Detailed overviews of modern day applications of antibody-based methods of analysis; including but not limited to immunohistochemistry, immunoaffinity, chromatography, imaging; ELISA, flow cytometry, immunosensors, and immunoblotting

Exploration of modern day therapeutic strategies that augment, and/or evade, the immune system for the benefit of the recipient.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Loop QuizLoop quizzes will be scheduled at Week5 and Week 10. Two quizzes are planned.20%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 3
Indicative Reading List

  • Murphy, Kenneth M.,Weaver, Casey: 2016, Janeway's Immunobiology, 9th, W.W. Norton & Company, United States, 0815345518
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BMEDB.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering
BMEDIB.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
PBMBSc Physics with Biomedical Sciences
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
Date of Last Revision02-FEB-10

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