Biotechnologies:experimental models in research

A.A. 2021/2022
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
AGR/18 AGR/20 VET/07
Obiettivi formativi
The aim of the course is to present basic and advanced methodologies in the field of biotechnological research. Several class activities will give students useful tools to develop a critical ability in identifying and choosing experimental models in relation to their applicability
Risultati apprendimento attesi
At the end of the course, the student will know: the main basic and advanced methodologies in the research field and will acquired the skills allowing him to identify the most suitable experimental models for biotechnological research. Specifically, students will acquire knowledge on:
cell culture techniques
3Rs in toxicology and Replacement
alternative methods in toxicology and application
lab animals wellbeing, management and rearing techniques
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Secondo semestre
Didactic methods
Lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams/Adobe Connect platform and can be followed synchronously on the basis of the second semester timetable, if still necessary. Lesson PDF files and teaching material may be available on the Ariel platform.

Program and reference material
The program and reference material will not be changed as far as possible

Learning assessment procedures and assessment criteria
The exam will take place orally using the Microsoft Teams platform.
Unit 1: Cell culture
Design and equipment for a cell culture laboratory
Cell Culture - basic principles
- Main types of cell culture: primary cultures and cell lines
- The cell environment: sterile environment, pH, temperature and supply of nutrients for growth
- Basic techniques for cell culture: suspension culture, monolayer culture, 3D culture
- Advanced technique for cell culture: insert, scaffold and mammosphere
- Quality control
- Protocols for cell quantification and viability
Cell culture protocols and application to the field of animal nutrition
- Cell culture protocols for research: differentiation, tissue remodelling and nutrigenomic
- Epithelial cell barrier: trans epithelia transfer of nutrients, feed bioactive compound activity
- Cell culture for evaluation of feed functional and health claims
Journal club
Critically evaluation of recent articles in scientific literature (work group)
- The "Do's and Don'ts" of cell culture: aseptic technique and good cell culture practice
- Preparation and storage of culture media
- Cryopreservation and storage of cell culture
- Cytotoxicity and viability assay
- Culture of cell lines
- Cell-based assays for in vitro testing of functional properties of feed bioactive compounds and additives: probiotic adhesion tests
Educational visit in Italian laboratory

Unit 2: Alternative methods in Toxicology
Toxicology, Alternative Methods and 3Rs Replace, Refine, Reduce (2 hours)
Alternative Methods and Validation (2 hours)
Replacement: validated in vitro test (4 hours)
Integrating Testing Strategy (1 hours)
Skin sensitization (2 hours)
Endocrine disruptor and alternative methods (1 hour)
Carcinogenesis (2 hours)
Reproductive Toxicology and Alternative methods (2 hours)
Botulin Toxin and 3Rs (1 hour)
Laboratory activity
In vitro markers in toxicity testing (2 hours)
In silico methods (4 hours)
ITS, Integrating Testing Strategy examples (2 hours)
Educational visit in Italian laboratory (4 hours)

Unit 3: Wellbeing and care of laboratory animals
Management and breeding of transgenic colonies of Rodents (2 hours)
Management and breeding of Zebrafih (Danio rerio) (2 hours)
Anesthesia, analgesia and euthanasia: D.L. 4 marzo 2014 n. 26 (2 hours)
Dosing and sampling (2 hours)
The experimental protocol in biomedical research (2 hours)
Adoptions (1 hour)
Nematodes in research (1 hour)
TutorialsNon-invasive imaging techniques: Thermography (2 hours)
Murine models (3 hours)
Visit a research facility (4 hours)
Visits to breeding of laboratory animals (3 hours)
Basic knowledge in toxicology is required.
Metodi didattici
Lectures, laboratory and tutorial activity
Materiale di riferimento
Unit 1
Didactic material available on ARIEL:
Culture of Animal Cells: A Manual of Basic Technique. R. Ian Freshney, Wiley-Liss, 2000.
Animal Cell Culture: A Practical Approach. John R. W. Masters, Oxford University Press, 2000.
Animal Cell Culture and Technology. Mike Butler, Michael Butler, Taylor & Francis, Inc., 2004.
Introduzione alle colture cellulari, Mariotti GL et al., Tecniche Nuove, 2010

Unit 2
Didactic material available on ARIEL

Unit 3
Didactic material available at
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
The exam is aimed at:
- ascertain the achievement of the objectives
- ascertain the ability to apply knowledge and understanding
- verify the student's independence of judgment
- ascertain the command of the specific language
Moduli o unità didattiche
Unit: Alternative methods in Toxicology
Esercitazioni: 12 ore
Lezioni: 18 ore

Unit: Cell culture
Esercitazioni: 36 ore
Lezioni: 12 ore

Unit: Wellbeing and care of laboratory animals
Esercitazioni: 12 ore
Lezioni: 12 ore
Docente: Luzi Fabio

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