Chemical methods for biotechnology

A.Y. 2018/2019
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Introduce the basic concepts of chemical thermodynamics and kinetics useful for the study of processes and reactions of biological interest. Part of the course, duly accompanied by practical laboratory, is dedicated to the acquisition of skills related to the most common analytical techniques (electroanalytical, spectroscopic, chromatographic, NMR and mass).
Expected learning outcomes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Elements of Physical Chemistry
Fundamentals: Kinetic theory of gases. Ideal gas law.
Chemical thermodynamics: the first principle (energy conservation). Internal energy and enthalpy. Thermodynamic cycles. Second law and entropy. Entropy variation of the system and of the environment. The spontaneous nature of chemical reactions. Gibbs energy and its variation. The chemical potential. The ideal solutions. Equilibrium reaction: thermodynamic fundamentals. The response of equilibrium under pressure and temperature.
Chemical kinetics: the reaction rate, its definition and measurement. Kinetic laws, rate constants and reaction orders. Methods for the determination of the kinetic law. Zero, first and second order reaction. The dependence of the reaction rate on temperature. The Arrhenius equation. Interpretation of the Arrhenius parameters. Thermodynamics and kinetics of protein folding.
Laboratory of analytical techniques
Basic analytical principles. Titrations. Electroanalytical techniques and potentiometric pH monitoring. Spectroscopic techniques (UV-vis, fluorimetry, polarimetry, IR). Chromatographic separation techniques (TLC, GC, HPLC)
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy: basic principles of the NMR experiments. Spectral parameters: chemical shift and coupling constants. One-dimensional 1H-NMR experiments. The nuclear Overhauser effect: theoretical background.
Mass Spectrometry: Instrumentation and recording of spectra. Ionization methods. Key fragmentation reactions in organic compounds. Examples and applications.

The written examination consists of a series of questions (open and multiple choice) and exercises. The questions cover the entire subject of the course. Available time: two hours.
CHIM/02 - PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 0
CHIM/06 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY - University credits: 0
Practicals: 24 hours
Single bench laboratory practical: 24 hours
Lessons: 40 hours