First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Medicine
Course unit
MEP8085599, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course 6 years single cycle degree in
ME2491, Degree course structure A.Y. 2019/20, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 12.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination THE BUILDING BLOCKS
Department of reference Department of Medicine
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in MEDICINE AND SURGERY

Teacher in charge GIORGIO ARRIGONI BIO/10

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses FIS/07 Applied Physics (Cultural Heritage, Environment, Biology and Medicine) 4.0
Basic courses BIO/10 Biochemistry 8.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 12.0 120 180.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2019 course timetable

Prerequisites: Notions of Mathematics, Geometry and Physics learnt in Secondary School. In particular: scalar and vector quantities, vector’ operations, coordinate reference systems, limits, derivatives and integrals.
Target skills and knowledge: Students are supposed to acquire the principles of physics and general chemistry and the most important notions of organic chemistry and structural biochemistry. These will be necessary for an effective understanding of medical and metabolic biochemistry, physiology, pathology and diagnostic and medical treatments.
Students must attain the knowledge to understand the nature of atoms, the properties of chemical bonds and molecules as well as the fundamental laws of chemical reactions. These notions will be applied for the comprehension of reaction mechanisms and the relationship between structure and function of biological macromolecules.
Examination methods: The exams will take place only during the official time windows. The aim of the test is to ascertain if students have understood the topics and have developed the ability of using notions and information to solve problems also of quantitative nature. The exam consists on a written test: part in form of multiple choice, part in form of open questions and exercises. Questions will be based on the subject content. Results will be published online (Uniweb).
Assessment criteria: For the exercises, the correctness of the results, the accuracy of the process used to solve the problems, and the rigorous use of the unit of measurements will be evaluated. For the open questions exactness, accuracy and the level of detail of the answers will be evaluated.
Course unit contents: Physics for Medicine:
• Physical quantities, dimensions and measure’s errors.
• Mechanics: Motion equations. Kinetic and potential energy. Conservation of energy, momentum and angular momentum.
• Fluids: Static fluids. Flow and continuity equation. Fluids and viscosity. Turbulent flow. Surface tension.
• Thermodynamics: Heat, specific heat. Ideal gases. Thermodynamic transformations. The first and second principle of thermodynamics.
• Electromagnetism: Electrostatics and Gauss’ theorem. Circuit elements and application to bioelectric activities in biological systems. Magnetic field and Lorentz force. Magnetic properties of matter. Maxwell’s equations.
• Harmonic oscillator. Wave propagation equation. Reflection, refraction and total reflection. Interference. The Doppler effect. Sound and Ultrasounds. Fourier analysis. Electromagnetic waves. Light diffraction, dispersion, polarization. The dioptre. Thin lenses: image formation by a thin lens. Optics systems. Optical fibers.
• The atom and the electrons binding energies. Excitation and ionization. The electromagnetic spectrum, ionizing and not ionizing radiation. X-rays and X-ray imaging. The nucleus and the nuclear forces. Radioactivity and radioactive decay law. Gamma cameras and SPECT. Positron emission tomography (PET). NMR.

Biochemistry for Medicine I:
• Atoms, elements and compounds. Nucleus and isotopes. Atomic orbitals, electron configuration and periodic properties of the elements.
• Chemical bonds and weak bonds. Valence bond and VSEPR theory. Hybrid orbitals. Resonance.
• Atomic mass unit and the mole. Interpretation and balancing of chemical equations.
• The gaseous state and the gas laws. The liquid state and phase diagrams. Dissolution processes and colligative properties.
• Basics of chemical kinetics. Rates and mechanisms of chemical reactions. Chemical catalysts and enzymes.
• The chemical equilibrium.
• Fundamentals of chemical thermodynamics: enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy.
• Acids and bases. Acid-base equilibrium and pH. Strong and weak acids and bases. Buffer solutions.
• Oxidation-Reduction reactions. Electrochemistry. Reduction potentials and Nernst's equation.
• Alkanes, alkenes and alkynes: nomenclature, classification, isomerism and reactivity.
• Benzene and aromatic compounds. Electrophilic substitution.
• Chirality and chiral molecules. Enantiomers and diastereomers.
• Alkyl halides: nomenclature and reactivity. Nucleophilic substitutions and elimination reactions.
• Alcohols, phenols, ethers and thiols.
• Amines as bases and nucleophiles. Reactions of amines.
• Aldehydes and ketones: nucleophilic addition. Hemiacetals and hemiketals. Imines. Keto-enol tautomerism.
• Carboxylic acids: properties and reactivity.
• Acyl halides, anhydrides, esters and amides.
• Carbohydrates. Structure, isomerism and reactions of monosaccharides. Oligosaccharides and polysaccharides.
• Amino acids and proteins. Peptide bond. Structure of proteins. Protein folding, unfolding and misfolding. Hemoglobin: allosteric effect and Bohr effect. Methemoglobin and carboxyhemoglobin. Foetal and pathologic hemoglobins. Myoglobin and cytochromes. Glycoproteins.
• Nucleic acids. Composition and structure of DNA and RNA. Translation and protein synthesis.
• Lipids and liposoluble vitamins. Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Triglycerides, phospholipids, glycolipids, gangliosides. Sterols, cholesterol and steroids.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures, group work, quizzes and exercises.
Additional notes about suggested reading: The slides and the teaching material used during the lessons will be delivered to the students using the Moodle website of the course. The delivered material will cover the whole course but will not be exhaustive, and it is necessary to integrate it with the explanations and the examples offered during the lessons. To support and deepen the study the students are encouraged to refer to the reference texts.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Alan Giambattista, Physics, 5th edition. --: McGraw Hill Education, --. ISBN 978-1-260-57005-2
  • Davidovits, Paul, Physics in Biology and Medicine, 4th Edition. --: Associated Press, --. ISBN 978-0-12-813716-1
  • Bellini, Cerbino, Manuzio, Marzari, Repetto, Zennaro, Fisica per Medicina. --: Piccin NUova Libraria, --. ISBN 978-88-299-2958-0
  •, --. --: --, --.
  • Bettelheim, Frederick A.; Brown, William H.; Farrell, Shawn O.; Campbell, Mary K.; Bono, Antonino; T, Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry. --: Cengage, --. Student Edition: ISBN: 978-1-337-57135-7 Loose-leaf Edition: ISBN: 978-1-337-57145-6 Cerca nel catalogo
  • McMurr, Ballantine, Hoeger, Peterson, Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry. --: Pearson, --. ISBN 978-0-13-401518-7
  • Bettelheim, Frederick A.; Brown, William H.; Farrell, Shawn O.; Campbell, Mary K.; Bono, Antonino; T, Chimica e propedeutica biochimicaFrederick A. Bettelheim ... [et al.]. Napoli: EdiSES, --.

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving
  • Auto correcting quizzes or tests for periodic feedback or exams
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

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