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: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours), Laboratory (16 hours)

Basic knowledge of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular biology. None specific limitation to the access.

Final Examination: 

The examination is an oral exam related to the content of the lessons and to the experience carried out in the lab. Students have to demonstrate that they know the principle of industrial microbiology and the processes described along the course. Additionally, they have to demonstrate that they understood the practical experience they did in lab and have acquired the technical adequate communication skills. Three questions will be on the theory and one on the lab training, all of them contributing equally to the final score. For each question, the student will be evaluated for the completeness and correctness of the answer, the use of a specialized language and the capability to connect properly the different topics and the lab experience. The final score is given in 30ies: the examination is successful if a score ≥ 18/30 is gained in each module and in the lab report.

Voto Finale

The course is fundamental for the education of a student in Biotechnology. The goal is providing a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles, terminology, methodology of processes and biotechnology concerning pharmaceuticals (such as antibiotics, therapeutic proteins), food industry (such as aminoacids, citric acid, acetic acid, ethanol, lactic acid, enzymes), bio-fuels and fine chemicals. The course is also aimed to providing most updated knowledge/skills related to molecular and physiological techniques applied to producing bio-goods and bio-services. Students will learn state-of-the-art techniques in exploitation of microbial chemical diversity for human health, environment protection and renewable sources. Students will acquire knowledge on traditional and innovative fermentation processes.
The course is based on theoretical lessons and experimental lab activities.
The expected learning outcomes are:
- acquiring and being able to illustrate the fundamental elements concerning fermentation chemistry and industrial microbiology
- possessing knowledge (theoretical and experimental) to carry out a microbial biotechnological project
- reading, understanding and critically reviewing scientific texts related to the subject (in English)
- using this knowledge to evaluate the aims and/or the results of a fermentation process both on the qualitative and quantitative point of view
- applying the knowledge to microbial biotechnology for an industrial process
- proposing a problem-solving approach
- identifying and expressing relevant information
- demonstrating effective communication skills using appropriate terminology
- demonstrating the ability of working in group in the lab.

40 hours class
microbial diversity; microbial metabolism; primary and secondary metabolism regulation; industrial microbiology (media composition, cell bank, inoculum, flasks and bioreactors); batch process, fed-batch process, process for production of primary and secondary metabolites, yields and kinetics of growth and production; strain improvement of producer microorganisms; alcoholic fermentation, lactic fermentation, acetone-butanol fermentation; research and development of antibiotics: the penicillin case; microbial production of organic acids: citric acid, acetic acid; amino acid production: glutamic acid, lysine, tryptophan and their derivatives like aspartame; examples of enzyme and therapeutic protein production and application.
- 16 hours practical lab (the practical lab will consist in 4 lessons of 4 hours each one, divided in a first introductive part followed by practical activities done directly by students in the biological lab for students situated in via Dunant, 3) with the following program:
isolation of actinomycetes from soil, purification and growth by shaking flask of actinomycetes, intergeneric conjugation, use of bioreactors and scaling-up problems, discussion of obtained results.
In case it will be possible, a visit to an industrial fermentation plant will be included in the lab part of the course.

Slides and lab notes on the E-learning site
Biotecnologie di Base, C.Ratledge and B.Kristiansen, Zanichelli;
Microbiologia Industriale, M.Manzoni, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana;
Comprehensive Biotechnology, Second Edition, Murray Moo-Young, Elsevier B.V.


Presentations in power point and practical activities (introductive part and protocols).
The practical activities will be held in biology lab in via Dunant, 3. During practical activities students, will be divided in small groups of 3-4, and each group will have a bench to perform experiments. Before performing experiments, students will have the protocols necessary to follow the activities. They have to bring calculator, appropriate stationery, lab coat. Professor and one or two assistants will be present in the lab to guarantee assistance. The participation at the practical activities is compulsory and absences are acceptable for a maximum of 25% of total hours.

Students can meet the professor in her study by previous email appointment.