Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in SCIENZE BIOLOGICHE
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
Academyc year when helding the course: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (72 hours)

Teaching does not require prerequisites. However, it is necessary to know the general preparatory topics covered in the teachings of Mathematics, Physics, General and Organic Chemistry and Cytology and Histology. A good knowledge of English is strongly recommended.

The final exam will take place through an oral interview of about 30-40 minutes where the knowledge and understanding of the physiological processes treated during the course will be verified. The student’s ability to relate molecular and cellular aspects to the overall function of different organs or systems will be assessed. The oral examination will also allow to verify the acquisition of the correct scientific language and that of the discipline.
The vote is in 30th on the basis of the Commission’s assessment of the above aspects.

Voto Finale

The teaching takes place in the second year and is part of the physiological and pathological training of the graduate in Biological Sciences.
The teaching aims to provide the basis for knowledge and understanding of the morphological, biochemical and molecular aspects of physiological processes and functional responses of animal organisms at different levels of complexity. The physiology of the cell and its molecular structures will be studied starting from the fundamental role of the membrane and its proteins. Functions in the complex organisation of tissues, organs and systems will be analysed with particular reference to mammals and humans. Some pathological aspects will also be discussed and the laboratory techniques for the study of the cell’s electrical activity will be explained at a theoretical level with references to the foundations of physics and mathematics. The aim of the course is to convey to the student the knowledge of the main physiological aspects and to give him the necessary information to connect the cellular and molecular mechanisms to the functions body. At the end of the course, the student will develop the ability to integrate knowledge at a multidisciplinary level in the physiological field and will acquire a good command of the correct scientific language that allows him to information on biological and physiological issues in the medical/scientific field.

Introduction. Central themes of physiology. Homeostasis feedback (negative and positive), internal and external environment. (2 hours)

Membranes structure and regulation, compositions, membrane protein, membrane organization. Diffusion, membrane flux, active transport and facilitated diffusion, epithelia transport. (4 hours)

Ions and excitement. Electric property of the membrane, Nerst and Goldman Equation, Donnan Equilibrium, Nervous cells, Resting and action potential, Voltage clamp, ion channels Patch-clamp and single channel recordings. (8 hours)

Propagation and transmission of signals. The propagation of nerve impulses. The concept of synapses. Electrical and chemical synapses. Neurotransmitters. The release of mediator. Receptors and postsynaptic channels. Synaptic integration. (10 hours)

Messenger and regulatory protein, Membrane signal transduction, metabotropic receptor, G protein, Calcium and cAMP. (4 hours)

Nervous systems evolution, Central nervous systems and central control, peripheral nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system and the enteric nervous system. (4 hours)

Sensory mechanisms. Sensory organs and cells. Encoding of the intensity of the stimulus. Somatic sensitivity and thermoceptors, touch and proprioception; nociceptors, pain; chemoreceptors, taste and smell; mechanoreceptors, hearing and vestibular system, photoreceptors, visual pigments, sight. (6 hours)

Muscle and Movements. Sarcomere structure, sliding filament theory, regulation of contraction, role of calcium, mechanisms of muscle contraction, properties of skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle. (6 hours)

Homeostasis, Endocrine System, Control of Nutrition, water and saline balance, metabolic and developmental hormones. Sex hormones and reproductive cycles. Circadian rhythms and biological clocks. (4 hours)

Circulation and the heart, general plan of the circulatory system, Mechanical property of the heart, Electric activity and coronary circulation, Hemodynamics, the peripheral circulation, the lymphatic system, capillary, control of the central cardiovascular system. (8 hours)

Gas exchange. Oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Respiratory pigments. The vertebrate lung. (4 hours)

Ionic and osmotic homeostasis, osmoregulation and excretion. Balance of water and salts, osmoregulation organs. The vertebrate kidney. Henle's loop and counter-current multipliers. Excretion of nitrogen residues. (6 hours)

Feeding digestion adsorption, alimentary system, nutrients, alimentary canal, motility, structure, gastrointestinal secretion, absorption. (4 hours)

Metabolism and thermal relationships, thermoregulation. (2 hours)

«Fisiologia umana» • 7/Ed. • Con Mastering A&PDee Unglaub Silverthorn- Pearson 2017
«Fisiologia» Cindy L. Stanfield - EdiSES
«Elementi di Fisiologia Umana» - EdiErmes

The teaching material in support of the main textbook which consists of the slides that are presented to lecture by the teacher, the audiovisual media projected in the classroom and suggested during the lessons, in addition to scientific articles to deepen the topics covered is constantly updated and made available on the e-learning platform


The didactic activity includes frontal lessons (72 hours). The lectures in the classroom will be given with the help of power point presentations, integrated by the projection of didactic films, in many cases in English. Support activities are proposed for the preparation of the oral exam aimed at understanding the subjects covered which involve the active participation of students.