Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (32 hours), Laboratory (32 hours)

Basic knowledge of Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biotechnology and Microbial Biotechnology.

Final Examination: 

The examination is organized in a written exam concerning scientific topics discussed during theoretical lessons and laboratory practice. The final score is given in 30ies: the examination is successful with a score ≥ 18/30.

Voto Finale

The goal of these lectures is to provide students with knowledges relative to applicative aspects of biotechnological processes through detailed analysis of molecular, physiological and fermentative approaches used for industrial production of enzymes, vitamins, and proteins. Students will be encouraged to deepen their knowledges of microbial biotechnologies, as well as of traditional and innovative fermentative processes.

Knowledge and understanding (Knowledge and know)
- Acquisition of advanced knowledges of applied microbiology, especially relative to microbial processes for industrial production and transformation of enzymes and proteins
- Acquisition of information necessary to understand the fundamental elements concerning process technologies for the production of biomolecules of biotechnological interest

Applying knowledge and understanding (skills and know how)
- Ability to transfer acquired knowledges in the field of genetic, physiological and microbial biotechniques to an industrial process, proposing a problem-solving approach

Biological processes have been employed in food and pharmaceutical industries since long time ago. More recent is their application for environmental protection and energy production. The lectures will provide an overview on the biotechnological sector and more deeply on processes used for enzyme and protein production and for identification of novel biocatalysts, as well as representative examples of enzymatic applications in industries (food, textile, detergent etc), environment (bioremediation, wastewater treatment), agriculture (biopesticides). Examples of bioconversion processes for products of pharmaceutical and food interest (e.g. steroids, vitamins) and biorefineries will be described, too.

Theoretical lessons (32 h, 4 CFU)
- Introduction to biotechnological processes
- Homologous and heterologous expression of proteins
- Enzymes from extremophiles
- Metagenomics as source of novel enzymes
- Production and application of enzymes for industrial, environmental and diagnostic purposes
- Production and application of therapeutic proteins
- Bioconversions (vitamins and steroids)

Practical lab (32 h, 2 CFU)
The practical lab will consist in lessons divided in a first introductive part followed by practical activities done by students in the Experimental Biology Lab situated in via Dunant, 3.
The practices will concern the expression of a recombinant enzyme of industrial interest in the model organism Escherichia coli and in the evaluation of a possible industrial application.

Slides for lessons and practical activities (introductive part and protocols): from E-learning web-site
Scientific articles from the lecturer
Brown, Biotecnologie Molecolari: Principi e tecniche, Zanichelli (2nd edition)
Demain and Davies, Manual of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology


The course -theoretical lessons (4 CFU) and lab activities (2 CFU)- will be performed using ppt presentations showed during the lesson hours, eventually supported with short explanatory videos. The practical activities will be held in the Experimental Biology Labs in via Dunant, 3.
During practical activities, students will be divided in small groups of 3-4 people, and each group will have a bench to perform experiments. Students will be provided will the protocols necessary to follow the activities. During practical lab the professor and at least one assistant will be present in the lab to guarantee assistance. The presence to the practical activities is compulsory and absences will be allowed for a maximum of 25% of total hours.
Depending on the availability of biotechnological companies located nearby Varese, students will be offered the possibility to visit an industrial plant based on a biological process. The visit usually lasts ca. 4-5 h and it is not mandatory.

Students can meet the professor by previous email appointment at