Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in Biotechnology for the Bio-based and Health Industry
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (36 hours), Laboratory (18 hours)

Knowledge of the basis of amino acids and protein structure and of basic reactions of organic chemistry are required

Final Examination: 

The objective of the exam is to verify the achievement of the training objectives.
The exam is carried out in written form and consists of 3 sections:
a) 6 short questions;
b) 1 open question related to a specific topic covered during the course;
c) 1 question related to the practical activity.

The degree of understanding of the subject, the ability to explain the basic principle and to illustrate the theory through examples is assessed (the ability to correctly represent reactions, chemical structures and plots is considered).
The laboratory activity is evaluated through the specific question in the written exam. The ability to connect the experimental activity to the theoretical principles is evaluated.

The grades are expressed on a scale of 30/30, 18 being the passing grade. Each section contributes to the overall grade: section a: 16 points, section b 8 points and section c 6 points. 3 Additional points will be awarded for the clarity in the exposition of the concepts and graphics. The sum of the grades of all the questions is equal to 33 (corresponding to a final grade of 30 cum laude).
In addition, the production of an individual report regarding the laboratory activity is required (the report is not quantitatively evaluated).

Voto Finale

The main objective of the course is to provide basic knowledge on the biological catalysts enzymes; specifically, their mode of action as catalysts, their kinetic and catalytic properties, the factors that influence their activity, their potential applications in the biotechnology field as biocatalysts, biosensors, biopharmaceuticals.

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
1. Explain the chemical/physical principles underlying catalysis.
2. Describe the different molecular mechanisms of catalysis operating in enzymes.
3. Understand the mathematical basis used to predict the performance of enzymes (kinetic laws and models).
4. Correlate the main chemical / physical factors (temperature / pH / inhibitors) of an enzymatic reaction to the enzyme activity and stability.
6. Critically discuss the mechanism of action of enzymes with reference to potential biotechnological applications.
7. Correctly represent enzymatic reactions, chemical structures, activity/stability plots and use the correct units of measurement.
8. Design, carry out experiments and analyze the produced data to verify the theoretical notions acquired in the previous points.
9. Produce reports about experimental activities involving enzymes.

36 hours (4.5 CFU) of lectures dealing with the following topics:
- Principles of chemical kinetics
- Theory of catalysis (transition state theory)
- Enzyme catalysis and kinetics
- Reversible and irreversible inhibition
- Enzymatic reactions involving multiple substrates
- Rapid kinetics (theory and methods)
- Allosteric enzymes (structure/function)
- Effect of temperature and pH on the activity / stability of enzymes
- Binding of small molecules to enzymes and proteins
- Thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of protein folding (also in vivo)
- Examples of industrial applications of enzymes

18 hours (1.5 CFU) of laboratory activities:
- 5 Practical exercitations regarding topics and concepts dealt with during the lectures. (e.g. inhibition, small molecule binding, biocatalysis)


The course consists of 36 hours of frontal lessons (18 lessons).
During each lesson a topic is treated starting from the discussion of the general theoretical principles, illustrating some examples (also taken from recent literature) and discussing potential implications from the applicative point of view. The lessons are supported by PowerPoint slides (also available on the e-learning platform).
For practical activities, students will be divided into small groups. After a general introduction to illustrate the objectives and experimental methods, students will be encouraged to independently design and perform the experimental activity.
Attendance to at least 75% of practical activities is mandatory.

In addition, the following didactic material is made available on the E-learning site:
Slides made by the teacher.
Self-assessment questions similar to those formulated in the written test
Scientific articles.
Lecture notes and protocols for the laboratory part.

The teacher is available to provide information on the course and topics by appointment via e-mail (requests must be made by email - gianluca.molla@uninsubria.it from the domain @ students.uninsubria.it).
The teacher is available for any in-depth or clarification meetings on the topics covered and on the experimental activity for groups of students.