Biological Sciences (Physiology, General biochemistry and clinical biochemistry, Applied Biology)

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
BIO/09 BIO/10 BIO/12 BIO/13
Learning objectives
The integrated course provides students with knowledge of the mechanisms of general physiology and biochemistry, associated with notions of clinical biochemistry and concepts of general biology. The principles of oral physiology are explored in greater depth.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the integrated course, students will learn the basic concepts of physiology, general biochemistry, clinical biochemistry and general biology, with particular emphasis on oral physiology.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Prerequisites for admission
No prior knowledge is required.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written exam with multiple choice test and open questions followed by oral exam.
Course syllabus
1) Cell Physiology
- transports
- diffusion - osmotic pressure
- resting membrane potential- equilibrium potentials
- graduated potentials
2) Action Potential
- Genesys of the action potential
- Absolute and relative refractory period
- Action potential conduction-myelin sheath
3) Synapse
- chemical and electric synapse
- mechanisms of synaptic release
- synaptic modulation
4) Central nervous system general organization
- somatosensorial system
- somatosensorial receptors
- sensorial pathways
5) Skeletal muscles
- molecolar description-actin and myosin crossbridge cycling
- sliding filament- role of calcium iones
- motor pathways
- neuromuscolar fuses
6) Respiratory apparatus
- respiratory mechanics
- Gas exchange and transport
- Hemoglobin
7) Cardiovascular system
- cardiac cycle
- electrophysiology of cardiac cells
- regulation of heart pumping
- arterial pressure regulation
8) renal system
- glomerular filtration
- tubular reabsorption and transports
- ADH and aldosteron mechanisms
9) digestive apparatus- anatomical description
- chewing, salivation, swallowing
- gastric functions, secretions, actions
- control of gastric functions
- nutrients digestion absorption and transports
- hints of liver and pancreas functionality
10) methabolism
- basal methabolism
- anabolism and catabolism
- body temperature control
- fever
11) endocrinology
- hypothalamus and hypophysis
- growth hormone
- thyroid hormones
- adrenal glands: stress
Teaching methods
This course is based on lectures. During the lectures many slides will be shown and explained and discussed.
Teaching Resources
1) Sherwood: Fondamenti di Fisiologia Umana- Piccin
2) Stanfield: Fisiologia - EDISES
3) Berne&Levy: Fisiologia - CEA
4) Silverthorn: Fisiologia Umana - Pearson
Course syllabus
1) The atom, electronegativity and ionization potential
- periodic table of the elements
- chemical bonds: neutral and polarized covalent, ionic, hydrogen bridges
2) The water:
- molecular structure, chemical and biological properties
- aqueous solutions: strong and weak electrolytes, pH, buffer systems, osmotic pressure
3) Proteins:
- amino acids: molecular structure, chemical and biological properties
- proteins: structures (primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary)
- structure / function relationship of proteins. Examples: collagen
- glycoproteins and proteoglycans
4) The blood:
- blood composition
- hemoglobin: structure, functions and function adjustments
- myoglobin: structure, functions
- the blood transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide
5) The enzymes:
- the variations of Gibbs free energy associated with the reactions: exoergonic and endoergonic reactions
- enzymatic catalysis and activation energy
- Michaelis Menten's law: the meaning of Km
- enzymatic regulation: allosteric, covalent, pH effect, temperature effect, competitive and non-competitive inhibitors
- coenzymes and cofactors
6) NADH and FADH2: structure, function
- the mitochondrial structure and enzymes of the electron transport chain
- generation of the electrochemical gradient between mitochondrial membranes and ATP synthesis
- ATP: structure and function
7) The Krebs cycle
- function of Acetyl-Coenzyme A
- performance in the mitochondria, main intermediates of the metabolic cycle
- energy balance, intermediates common to other metabolic pathways
8) The metabolism of carbohydrates:
- structure of carbohydrates and food sugars
- the entry of glucose into cells: hexokinase
- glycolysis: energy balance
- lactic acid and the Cori cycle
- gluconeogenesis: main metabolic intermediates, energy balance
- glycogen: structure and function
- glycogen synthesis and glycogenolysis
- hexokinase and glucokinase
- insulin and glucagon: hormonal control of kinase / phosphatase that regulate glycogen synthesis and glycogenolysis
9) The extramitochondrial oxidation of glucose and the shunt of pentose-phosphates
10) The metabolism of lipids:
- structure of dietary fats
- oxidation and biosynthesis of fatty acids: subcellular compartmentalization, main metabolic intermediates and their relationship with other metabolic pathways, energy balance
- the triglycerides of the adipocytes: structure, function, recycling and origin of the glycerol
- biosynthesis of phospholipids
- insulin and glucagon: hormonal control of kinases / phosphatases that regulate triglyceride lipase
11) The metabolism of proteins:
- proteins as sources of nitrogen, role of nitrogen and nitrogen balance in the body
- metabolism of the amino group: transamination and oxidative deamination, carbamyl phosphate (structure and function) and the urea cycle
- the metabolism of the carbon skeleton: metabolic intermediates and their relationship with other metabolic pathways
Teaching methods
Teaching Resources
- "Chimica e Biochimica" per Lauree Triennali in area sanitaria, Samaja e Paroni, Piccin.
- "Appunti di biochimica per le Lauree Triennali" Catani, Savivi, Guerrieri, Avigliano, Piccin.
Clinical biochemistry and molecular biology
Course syllabus
1) Clinical Biochemistry: introduction, aims, definitions
-Intervention levels of the laboratory. Diagnostic test concepts and its purposes (screening, diagnostic study, disease monitoring)
2) The pre-analytical phase and its sources of variability
- Preparation of the patient
- Sampling, treatment, transport and storage of biological samples: blood, urine, feces, spinal fluid (liquor), pouring liquids into the serous cavities, synovial fluid, amniotic fluid, seminal fluid, gastric juice, sweat.
- Acceptability criteria of a biological sample
3) Concept of total variability
- Biological variability and factors that influence it
- Analytical variability
-Types of errors. Reliability of a dosage method.
4) Reference values
- concept of reference interval
- concept of decision values
- concept of critical difference
5) Deepening of some topics chosen by the teacher (for example: monitoring of diabetes, lipid structure, renal function, biochemistry of saliva, cardiac markers, plasma proteins, tumor markers ... etc).
Teaching methods
The course consists of lectures and analysis/discussion of clinical case reports, with the help of iconographic material, partially made available on UniMI computer platforms. Quiz and classroom surveys using computer platforms to review the most important topics. The consultation of the material presented during the lectures does not replace the study on textbooks.
Teaching Resources
- Gaw et al. Biochimica Clinica, Curatore: M. Lobello, L. Rossi, Elsevier Masson; 2007
- M. Ciaccio, G. Lippi Biochimica Clinica e Medicina di Laboratorio, Edises; 2017
- G. Federici Medicina di laboratorio Milano, Mc Graw Hill, 2014
- Lw Janson, Me Tischler - Il quadro d'insieme- Biochimica Clinica. Ed. It. Mario Plebani, Piccin, 2015
- Sul portale Ariel: slide presentate a lezione, articoli scientifici e materiale vario riguardanti alcuni degli argomenti trattati
Experimental biology
Course syllabus
1. Fundamental characteristics of living matter:
-properties of living matter
- cells and organisms
- cell theory
- hierarchy of biological organization
2. Structure and cellular organization:
- eukaryotic cell
- main evolutionary theories: invagination, and endosymbiosis
- advantages and evidence in favor of these theories
- monocellular and multicellular organisms
- compartmentalization of eukaryotic cells
3. Chemical composition of living matter:
- inorganic and organic compounds
- biological macromolecules
- biological importance of water
- structure and function of nucleic acids
4. Flow of information in living matter:
- the central dogma of biology
- demonstration that DNA is the hereditary material
- Meselson and Stahl experiment
- DNA duplication,
- general information on the structure of the eukaryotic gene: introns and exons
- chromatin organization
5. Transcription and translation
- notes on the mechanisms of transcription and maturation of mRNAs
- structure of the ribosome
- tRNA structure
- genetic code
- translation
6. Cell cycle
- reproduction of eukaryotic cells, mitosis, meiosis,
- crossing-over and genetic variability
7. Notes on the regulation of gene expression
Teaching methods
Method of delivery of the theaching course: frontal lessons supported by visual means (power point).
Teaching Resources
Genetica e biologia molecolare, Estratto da K.A. Mason-Piccin; Elementi di biologia-Solomon, Berg, Martin, EdiSeS; Biologia e Genetica Donati , Stefani , Taddei-Zanichelli
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 2
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Samaja Michele
Clinical biochemistry and molecular biology
Lessons: 10 hours
Professor: Paroni Rita Clara
Experimental biology
BIO/13 - EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY - University credits: 1
Lessons: 10 hours
Professor: Doneda Luigia
BIO/09 - PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 5
Lessons: 50 hours
Professor: Manfridi Alfredo
By appointment to be agreed by e-mail
H San Paolo -9 piano Blocco C