Physics, Statistics and Radioprotection

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
FIS/07 MED/01 MED/36
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide the basic notions to:
1. develop models of physical phenomena through a basic application of the scientific method.
2. know the fundamental principles of physics and their implications in the biomedical field, especially as regards the working principles of some lab techniques.
3. solve simple physics problems about topics related to the biomedical field and give quantitative estimates of the phenomena.
4. know the main statistical techniques for the evaluation of precision and accuracy of measurement methods used in biomedical labs.
5. inform those, subjected to diagnostic imaging or radio-treatment, about the risks connected to radiations and about the practices to avoid unnecessary exposure.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:
1. Assign a unit of measurement and estimate the order of magnitude of various physical quantities of biomedical interest or everyday life (number of cells in human body, volume of blood, volume of a room)
2. Observe and measure physical phenomena (a falling body, a flowing fluid, a propagating light ray) and develop models to mathematically describe them, through a basic application of the scientific method
3. Explain the fundamental principles of mechanics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism and optics
4. Explain the relevance and the implications of such principles for physiological and biomedical phenomena
5. Describe the working princples of common diagnostic devices and lab techniques (e.g. electrophoresis, centrifuge, flow cytometry)
6. Solve simple quantitative problems about the described phenomena, identifying the main elements and possible approximations (e.g. finding forces acting on a body and deciding whether to neglect friction in the description of its motion)
At the end of the course of Medical Statistics students are expected to:
- evaluate accuracy and precision of measurement tools currently used in laboratory activities
- analyze laboratory data using descriptive and inferential statistics
- understand a report including methods and results on laboratory data
- write a report including description of statistical methods and results.
The student will learn the basic information of radiation protection to be able to work in an environment where ionizing radiations are present.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

- The program of the course will not be modified
- Teaching resources will not be modified
- Teaching method: on-line teaching on Microsoft Teams platform
- Assessment method: written on-line exam
Prerequisites for admission
The student must have basic knowledge of algebra and elements of geometry.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of a written test with open questions and multiple choice questions about applied physics, medical statistic, diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy.
A calculator and probability distributions table, available on Ariel, are allowed.
The results will be provided to the students via Ariel. To succeed, the student must have a positive evaluation in all the three parts of the exam. The final score is the CFU-weighted average of the three parts, rounded up.
Students who regularly attended the course will be admitted to a volountary written exam immediately after the end of the course.
Applied physics
Course syllabus
Preliminary tools
∙ Fundamental and derived quantities, International System
∙ Multiples and submultiples, scientific notation and significant figures
∙ Estimates of orders of magnitude
∙ Scalar and vector quantities
∙ Vector operations
∙ Uniform straigth motion, uniformly accelerated motion
∙ Principles of dynamics
∙ Forces: gravitational, weight, constraint reaction, friction, elastic
∙ Motion on an inclined plane, 2D motion
∙ Work of a force
∙ Kinetic energy theorem
∙ Conservative forces, potential energy
∙ Conservation of mechanical energy
∙ Dissipative forces
∙ Types of deformation
∙ Stress-strain curves, Young modulus
∙ States of matter
∙ Pressure
∙ Stevin's law
∙ Archimedes force
∙ Flow rate
∙ Hydrodynamic focusing (flow cytometry)
∙ Bernoulli's theorem
∙ Viscosity
∙ Poiseuille's equation
∙ Viscous friction and terminal velocity
∙ Centrifugation, electrophoresis
∙ Surface tension
∙ Contact angle
∙ Capillarity
∙ Laplace's law
∙ Ideal gas
∙ Absolute temperature
∙ Equation of state for perfect gases
∙ Working principle and calibration of a micropipette
∙ Osmotic pressure
∙ Real gases
∙ Principles of thermodynamics
∙ Latent and specific heat
∙ Conduction, convection and irradiation
∙ Human metabolism
Elettromagnetism and optics
∙ Electric charge
∙ Coulomb's force and electric field
∙ Electric potential
∙ Conducting and insulating materials
∙ Electric current
∙ Electric resistance
∙ Joule effect
∙ Magnetic field
∙ Propagation of electromagnetic waves
∙ Wavelength and frequency
∙ Absorbance and DNA/protein dosage
∙ Fluorescence
∙ Light scattering
∙ Flow citometry
∙ Geometric optics: reflection and refraction
∙ Refractive index
∙ Dispersion
∙ Optical biosensors
∙ Lenses and image formation
∙ Resolution limit in an optical system
∙ Optical microscope
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons with blackboard and projector (slides and movies).
Slides of the lectures and exercises are available on Ariel.
Homeworks are assigned and discussed during the following classes.
Teaching Resources
Suggested books are for reference only. The student should use lecture notes and can freely choose on which books to study the discussed topics.
For some topics, slides and additional materials will be provided via Ariel.

- Giambattista "College physics" McGraw-Hill
- McKay "Physics for the Life Sciences"
(vol I:…; vol II:
Medical statistics
Course syllabus
Reliability of a measure
∙ Reliability and its components
∙ Systematic error and casual error
∙ Between-subjects and within-subjects variability
Descriptive statistics
∙ Graphs
∙ Location, scale, and shape of a frequency distribution
∙ Measures of location and scale
∙ Accuracy and precision of a measure
∙ Quantiles and reference limits
∙ Correlation and Kappa statistic
Gaussian model
∙ Probability of events on the population within the Gaussian model
∙ How to model the error with a Gaussian model
∙ Sampling variability
∙ Population and sample
∙ Estimate of a population parameter with sampling quantities
Sampling distribution
∙ The central limit theorem and the distribution of a sampling quantity
∙ Standard error
Confidence interval
∙ Definition and meaning
∙ Formulas
Hypothesis testing
∙ First type and second type errors and power of a test
∙ Sample size calculation
∙ Clinical statistics and clinical relevance
∙ Hypothesis testing on a population mean
Deterministic and probabilistic models
∙ Deterministic and probabilistic models: differences
∙ Simple linear regression model: interpretation and parameters
∙ Hypothesis testing on the parameters of a simple linear regression model
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons with blackboard and projector (slides and movies).
Slides of the lectures and exercises are available on Ariel.
Some training sessions are held in the computer lab.
Teaching Resources
Suggested books are for reference only. The student should use lecture notes and can freely choose on which books to study the discussed topics.
For some topics, slides and additional materials will be provided via Ariel

- Pagano - Gauvreau "Principles of Biostatistics", Chapman and Hall/CRC
- Bland "An Introduction to Medical Statistics" (English Edition) 4th Edition, Oxford University Press
- Katz, JG. Elmore, DMG. Wild, S. Lucan "Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Preventive Medicine, and Public Health", Elsevier
Diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy
Course syllabus
Physical bases
∙ Structure of the atom
∙ Classification of nuclides
∙ Definition of radiation
∙ Electromagnetic radiation
∙ Wave length and frequency
∙ Photons
∙ The electromagnetic spectrum
∙ X and γ rays
∙ Use, production and detection of the electromagnetic spectrum
∙ The corpuscular radiation
∙ Ionizing radiation
∙ Characteristic X-rays
∙ Bremsstrahlung X-rays
∙ X-ray production in diagnostics
∙ Spectrum of an X-ray tube
∙ X-rays: production in radiotherapy
∙ Nuclear stability and radioactivity
∙ Radioactive decay
∙ The law of radioactive decay
∙ Average life and half-life
∙ Activities
∙ Alpha, beta-, beta +, gamma decay
∙ Electronic capture decay
∙ The various types of radiation in the interaction with matter
∙ Interaction of alpha and beta charged particles
∙ Collision
∙ Bremsstrahlung
∙ Interaction of alpha particles
∙ Bragg curve
∙ Interaction of beta particles
∙ Positron-matter interaction: annichilation
∙ Interaction of beta particles
∙ Photoelectric effect, compton, pair creation
∙ Attenuation of a beam of x and gamma radiation
∙ Attenuation law
∙ Detection system
∙ Dose equivalent to an organ
∙ Effective dose to the whole body
∙ Non-ionizing radiation: application examples
∙ MRI, laser, ultrasound
Radioprotection in the sanitary environment
∙ D.lgs.187 / 2000
∙ Principle ALARA
∙ Principle of justification
∙ Optimization process
∙ Reference diagnostic levels
∙ Equipment acceptability criteria
∙ Protection during pregnancy and lactation
∙ Main exclusive responsibilities of the operator
∙ Responsibility of the RIR
∙ Responsibility of the medical specialist
∙ Expert responsibility in medical physics
∙ Purpose of radiation protection
∙ Dose limits for members of the public
∙ Classification criteria for workers
∙ Exposed workers in categories A and B
∙ Dose limits for exposed workers
∙ Physical and medical surveillance
∙ Classification of areas
∙ Internal and external exposure
∙ Sources of risk in radiological activities
∙ Personal protective equipment
∙ Safety in radiological activity
∙ Traditional radiographic procedures for radiation protection standards
∙ Dental radiology radiation protection standards
∙ Mammography radioprotection standards
∙ TAC radiation protection standards
∙ Radioscopy and interventional radiology radiation protection standards
∙ Sources of risk in radiotherapy radiation protection standards
∙ Sources of risk in brachytherapy radiation protection standards
∙ Sources of risk with unsealed radioactive substances
∙ In vitro diagnostic procedures
∙ General planning principles
∙ Radioactive waste
∙ Study of the action and effects of ionizing radiation on biological structures
∙ Experimental techniques of radiobiology
∙ Sequences of events of radiobiological interest
∙ Radiation cell damage
Imaging diagnostic techniques
Physical and biological bases of nuclear medicine
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons with blackboard and projector (slides and movies).
Teaching Resources
Suggested books are for reference only. The student should use lecture notes and can freely choose on which books to study the discussed topics.
For some topics, slides and additional materials will be provided via Ariel.
Applied physics
FIS/07 - APPLIED PHYSICS - University credits: 4
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Zanchetta Giuliano
Diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy
MED/36 - IMAGING AND RADIOTHERAPY - University credits: 1
Lessons: 10 hours
Professor: Maioli Claudio
Medical statistics
MED/01 - MEDICAL STATISTICS - University credits: 4
Lessons: 40 hours
For meetings, please write an email.
Campus Cascina Rosa, via A. Vanzetti, 5, 20133 Milano - room number 3 - 4
On appointment
LITA Segrate or online