About the biofilm course
The focus of this online course is to provide the participants with a basic understanding of bacterial biofilms and of the health care problems related to infections involving bacterial biofilms. The participants will learn to describe and explain the basis for biofilms in chronic infections and to recognize relevant biofilm model system and interpret results thereof.
The objective of the course is to provide the participants with knowledge of the fundamental understanding of biofilm and where to find it.
The participants will learn how to:
recognize, and distinguish biofilms from planktonic bacteria both in nature and in medical related situations
illustrate and examine health care problems caused by infections involving bacterial biofilms
explain and analyze the consequences of biofilms in chronic infections
recognize and design relevant biofilm model system and interpret their results
design and develop their own biofilm model including strategies for future research
MSc students, PhD students and professionals with a microbiological background.
Please see the admission criteria.
Students must complete at least 75% of the E-modules to qualify for the final exam.
The exam will be a written 72 hour examination conducted via the Internet (estimated workload 3 hours).
Start date: September 2020
End date: November 2020
This is an online course, which means the students can follow the course from anywhere in the world, as long as they have access to the Internet.
Professor Thomas Bjarnsholt
Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen
The online course in bacterial biofilm stretches over ten weeks in the fall of 2020. The weekly plan is as follows.
Introduction to E-learning and Absalon, and meeting your workgroup
The fundamental understanding of biofilms: What is a biofilm and where do we find biofilm
The basic understanding of how biofilms are formed and maintained, including how to study biofilms
Biofilm specific phenotypes: the matrix, antibiotic and host tolerance and density regulated phenotypes (quorum sensing)
Biofilms in disease: types of chronic infections
Host response toward biofilm infections
Diagnosis of biofilms
Treatment of biofilms
Biofilms in disease vs. Natural habitats
Online learning - how does it work?
The course is structured around internet based E-learning modules (E-modules) with weekly deadlines. This means that you as a student can follow the course from anywhere in the world at any time you like. All you need is an internet connection. You will only meet and interact with your teachers and fellow students at the University of Copenhagen's online learning platform.
Due to this internet based platform, we have the unique opportunity to attract and offer you teaching from the most prominent and skilled biofilm researchers in the world. The teaching at the course is not only theoretical. You will also do practical experiments and task, such as small biofilm experiments and online microscopy for identifying biofilms.
Each E-module is composed of:
An introduction to the topic
An overview of the purpose, the subjects and the intended learning outcome
A short study guide
Learning resources (which can be text, audio and/or video files)
Several exercises called E-lessons.
The E-lessons are online learning activities which can be questionnaires, assignments, discussions or practical experiments (ready to use kits). The role of the teachers are to assist student learning by serving as E-moderators for the various E-lessons.
The online course room and teaching techniques are developed in collaboration with the IT learning Center (ITLC) at the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen. At ITLC they have many years of experience with online learning and teaching. They have used Gilly Salomons 5 staged model for online learning to develop their own unique model for online teaching. This model creates learning context which allows students to collaborate and participate actively in discussions of different learning topics with fellow students and teachers on the course.
Why study bacterial biofilms and chronic infections?
Bacteria display two life forms during growth and proliferation. In one form the bacteria appear as single, free-floating cells (planktonic), in the other form bacteria are organized in aggregates. The latter form is commonly referred to as the biofilm mode of growth.
These two life forms have serious implications for bacterial infections in humans. Acute infections involve planktonic bacteria and are most often treatable. Chronic infections are most likely caused by bacterial biofilms and are nearly impossible to treat with antibiotics and other disinfectants.
The online course on Bacterial Biofilms and Their Role in Chronic Infections can be followed by both Master's degree and PhD students, as well as professionals that live up to the admission criteria.