Methods in biochemistry

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The educational objective of the teaching is to train students in the main methods of biochemical investigation. The training elements relating to the chemical or physical principles on which the techniques are based will be provided and the experimental results and their interpretation will be explained. An aspect of considerable applicative importance is also the ability to identify in the panorama of the most modern methods of investigation those that are most suitable to respond to specific scientific questions in the field of Biological Chemistry.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the teaching, the student will be able to interpret the experimental results obtained through the biochemical techniques learned. The student's communication skills will be enhanced by illustrating numerous examples of applications in the field of academic and industrial research and in the medical and diagnostic fields. The learning outcomes will give the student the ability to have the technical skills for pursuing biological studies.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Frontal lessons will be substituted by video showing commented power point presentations (asynchronous teaching). Every four asynchronous lessons one synchronous one will take place on Zoom or Teams where students will be able to ask questions and further details.
Course syllabus
- Basic Techniques of Analysis and Purification of Proteins (Omogenization, Centrifugation, Chromatography, Electrophoresis)
- Spectroscopic methods (absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence and circular dichroism), evaluation of biological activity (biological activity assays, doses of enzymatic activity).
- Structural Biology Techniques
- Techniques for protein-protein or protein-ligand interaction analysis.
- Antibodies: structure and function. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. ELISA, Western Blott and Phage display. Use of antibodies in diagnosis and therapy, humanised antibodies.
- Protein Engineering Techniques: Direct site mutagenesis, Random Mutagenesis (directed evolution, molecular breeding: PCR error error, DNA shuffling, ITCHY). Methods for screening protein variants obtained by mutagenesis.
- Enzymes: Enzyme dosages, use of enzymes to titrate metabolites.
- Protein classes of industrial interest and therapy: Blood proteins (coagulation factors, clot lysis), Proteases, lipases, amylases, thermostable enzymes, immobilized enzymes, biosensors.
- During the course several examples of research published in scientific journals are discussed.
Prerequisites for admission
Students are expected to have basic knowledge of biochemistry, molecular biology.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons.
Changes have been made, see "Didattica emergenziale".
Teaching Resources
Reference Material
K.Wilson & J.M.Walker
Principles and techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cambridge University Press

M. Stoppini & V. Bellotti
Biochimica Applicata
Assessment methods and Criteria
Exam: single oral test (typically 2-3 questions). Final grade is calculated on a 30-point scale.
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Educational website(s)
tuesday 11.30-12.30, by appointment via email