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CODE 87011
SEMESTER 1° Semester


In this course,  different approaches that involve the use of physical methodologies in the fields of biomedicine and biomaterials will be presented.
These methodologies are of interest to the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, but also to companies producing scientific instruments for the characterization of the products of these industries.
The course will make use of external instructors, directly linked, or actively in contact, with industrial / business realities.



The aim of the course is to provide the student with an overview of the applications that the typical methods of Fisics and Materials Science find in industrial / productive areas. The students will acquire knowledge on the production techniques and characterization of biomaterials / molecules for use in the pharmacological and tissue engineering fields and on molecular dynamics techniques used in the development of new drug molecules. In addition, students will learn about modern optical microscopy techniques and the approaches used in their development.


The course includes lectures. A substantial part of the course will be held by external lecturers, involved in different industrial / productive realities that make use of typical methodologies of the Physics and of the Material Sciences.


Physics applied to biomedicine and biomaterials.
The course will be divided into four parts, only apparently disjointed from each other. The teachers will provide insights on topics of particular interest.
Part 1: Cells and their products
Modern biotechnology is a meeting point for numerous scientific skills and new industrialization. A central point in the development of knowledge technologies and - borderland - of many traditional disciplines. It is a melting pot in which physics, chemistry, biology, electronics and others contribute to the use of cells as biofactories. In this course, we want to introduce the student to the cell applications and their products, in the medical / pharmaceutical sector. It also wants to describe the technologies used for this purpose with particular reference to the physical ones.
1. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and products: structure, ecological and symbiotic niches, products and biomaterials (A. Hyaluronic, antibiotics, alkaloids, monoclonal antibodies, and enzymes).
2. Optimization processes: metabolic load, growth rate, development of mutants, recombinant processes.
3. Production methods and technologies: scale-up processes, bioreactors structure and related technology, downstream.
4. Variables and structures, modulation and control of cell growths: Temperature, pH, CO2, DO2, Off-gas, PID, Fuzzy, Neural, SCADA.
5. Postgenomics and synthetic biology: optimization of flows and new production technologies, the microbiome.

Part 2: Calculation methods for the pharmaceutical industry
The modern pharmaceutical industry extensively uses computational techniques, including molecular dynamics, to predict the interaction properties of drug molecules with their target molecules. These techniques have become fundamental support in the development of new formulations. In this course, the basic principles of molecular dynamics will be introduced, but the topics of most significant interest in the field of drug design will be studied in depth.
1. Modeling of molecular systems through continuum electrostatic
2. Computational techniques for the calculation of molecular surfaces and solution of the Poisson-Boltzmann equation
3. Applications of the calculation of molecular surfaces to the analysis of the dynamics of protein binding sites
4. Fundamentals of mechanics and molecular dynamics
5. Molecular dynamics simulations and sampling importance
6. Applications of molecular dynamics in drug development

Part 3: Materials for biomedical applications

Various fields of medicine, from tissue engineering to regenerative medicine, make use of new technological materials. These materials have special characteristics that make them suitable for integration with biological tissues. In this part of the course the techniques of production and characterization of materials designed for biomedical applications will be presented, with particular emphasis on wound treatment and neuronal scaffolding.
1. New materials for biomedical applications.
2. New materials for wound treatment and controlled drug delivery.
3. Neuronal scaffoldings, the border of tissue engineering.
4. characterization of the chemical properties of materials.
5. characterization of the mechanical properties of materials.
6. interaction with biological systems.

Part 4: Modern optical microscopy. Introduction to techniques and their development.

Optical microscopy has developed over the centuries and still today is one of the fundamental tools in the study of materials and especially of biological materials. Modern developments have made it possible to overcome the limit of classical optical resolution, pushing optical analysis towards new frontiers. The integration with spectroscopic techniques has further increased the possibilities offered to this technique. The developments in the field of optical microscopy established in the last twenty years will be introduced. The lessons will be enriched with examples on the study of complex biological systems.

1. Modern optical microscopy
2. From DNA to Chromatin. Address increasing levels of complexity in a biological problem.
3. Fluorescence as a contrast method
3. Optical resolution and optical superrisolution
4. Technical issues related to the development of optical super-resolution systems including confocal microscopy, expansion microscopy, single molecule localization and STED
5. Converging technologies: second harmonic generation, liquid lenses, correlative nanoscopy, Liquitopy



Exam Board





CLAUDIO CANALE (President Substitute)


Class schedule

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile all'indirizzo EasyAcademy.



The exam will be oral and will focus on the main topics presented in the course.
Furthermore, a topic of particular interest will be chosen by the student. The student will deepen the topic also using teaching materials provided by the teachers, with whom the student is invited to interact.
The student will prepare a report that will be discussed and commented during the examination.


The assessment of learning takes place during the exam test.
The oral exam is always conducted by the responsible professor and another expert in the subject (usually a tenured professor). The exam is divided into
1) a fixed number of questions (the same for all students) concerning the examination program and allows the commission to judge, in addition to the preparation, the degree of achievement of communication objectives, autonomy, etc.
2) Presentation and discussion of a report prepared by the student on a specific topic.

With these methods, given that at least one of the two teachers has many years of experience in the discipline, the teachers are able to verify with high accuracy the achievement of the educational objectives of the teaching. When these are not achieved, the student is invited to deepen the study and to make use of further explanations by the professor.
The oral exam lasts about 45 minutes.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
24/01/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale
14/02/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale
22/06/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale
06/07/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale
21/07/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale
11/09/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale