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 (48 hours)

The teaching has no pre-requirements. However, knowledge of the general topics covered in the first-year courses is required, in particular physics and cytology, and histology. Good knowledge of the English language is strongly recommended

Final Examination: 

The final exam will a 30 multiple choices questions -related to the teaching macro-topics and 6 open questions.
The test will allow you to verify the student's overall preparation weighting for 30% on the final evaluation. The open question will show the achievement of the expected learning outcomes of the teaching by assessing the understanding of at least four physiological processes covered during teaching.
A minimum requirement for passing the exam is to be able to describe the role and importance of the cell membrane between the cytoplasmic and extracellular environments, to explain the functions and structure of the main membrane proteins (receptors, ion channels, pumps, and transporters), it is fundamental to know the main physiological parameters at cellular and organism level (e.g. ionic composition of intra and extracellular fluids, characteristics and timing of the action potential, parameters of cardiac and circulatory activity), illustrate the basic functions and structure of the main organs. The criteria that will guide the evaluation of the test will consider not only the congruity of the answers but also the ability to correlate molecular and cellular aspects to the overall function of the different organs or systems, the ability to predict the physiological response to a particular event and the ability to focus the single phenomenon in a general vision. The student's ability to use the correct scientific language will also be evaluated, to communicate the phenomena studied through graphs and figures that show the appropriate units of measurement. The final grade is expressed out of thirty based on the evaluation of the Examination Committee with reference

Voto Finale

The lessons are part of the basic teaching in the biological field about the organization of organisms, structure-function relationships, and the ability of organisms to adapt to environmental conditions. Physiology aims to provide the basis for understanding the functions of animal organisms at different levels of complexity, mainly from the cellular point of view. The physiology of the cell will be studied from the fundamental role of the membrane to metabolic activities. The specific functions of different cell types and the complex organization of cells in tissues, organs, with some references to the systems will be analyzed.
Educational objectives:
At the end of the course, the student will be able to
- define the physiological conditions of organisms and recognize the metabolic cost of maintaining homeostasis.
- identify the environments that define the organism (internal and external/extracellular cellular etc.) by defining their characteristics and importance (composition, physical, ionic, and molecular characteristics, and the consequent role in physiological responses).
- know the main physiological parameters of cells and organisms with reference to humans.
- predict functional responses to variations or environmental stimuli in animal organisms by identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved;
- explain the main physiological processes at the cellular and organism level;
- understand and describe the relationships between the functions and structures involved in physiological phenomena;
- evaluate the relationships between parameters and cellular responses in different application contexts;
- illustrate the physiopathological aspects resulting from the alterations of the main functions;
- interpret and evaluate physiological phenomena, experimental data and graphs illustrating the functional characteristics of living beings;
- communicate information through graphics and figures
- use the correct scientific language and that of the discipline to describe the processes studied;
- use multimedia tools to deepen the knowledge of some cutting-edge themes of the specific field of study, with particular attention to possible biotechnological meanings.

Principle of homeostasis, the concept of feedback, of internal and external environment, and of structure and function (3 Hours).
Energies and vital activity, ATP, the ability of living to store energy. Flows (Torell and Fick equations) and Permeation (3 hours).
Osmosis concept - osmotic pressure - isotonic and isosmotic concept - Van't Hoff equation - Ionic and osmotic homeostasis. The function of the nephron (3 hours).
Membranes - Composition and organization of cell membranes, characteristics of membrane proteins (3 hours).
Permeability and transport across membranes. Passive permeation mechanisms. Active transport- the epithelial adsoprption (3 hours).
Ions and excitement. Passive electrical properties of membranes. Nernst and Goldman equations. Driving Force Concept (3 hours).
Resting potential, graded potential, and action potential (3 hours).
The ion channels (6 hours).
Chemical messengers and regulators. Mechanisms of transmembrane transduction. Receptors, G proteins, the concept of "first" and "second" messengers, calcium, and cAMP. Hormones, Neurohormones, and receptors (6 Hours).
Propagation and transmission of signals. The propagation of nerve impulses (3 Hours).
The concept of synapses. Electrical and chemical synapses. Neurotransmitters. The release of the mediator (3 Hours).
Receptors and postsynaptic channels (3 hours).
Muscles and movement. Sarcomere structure and the sliding filament theory. Contraction, regulation, and the role of calcium in contraction. Excitation-contraction electromechanical coupling. Properties of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle (6 Hours).
Metabolism, Nutrients, Nutrition, Nutritional value of foods, digestion, absorption.


The teaching activity includes frontal lessons (48 hours). Classroom lessons will be carried out with the aid of multimedia presentations, supplemented by the projection of educational videos, in many cases in English. Activities are proposed to support the preparation of the exam at the end of each macro topic (closed-ended tests or virtual exercises conducted in the classroom that require knowledge of the physiological parameters involved), aimed at verifying the understanding of the topics covered. These include in some cases the active participation of students also in working groups.

The teacher is available for meeting with students about the topics covered by the lesson during class hours or by appointment via e-mail: