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CODE 61738
ACADEMIC YEAR 2023/2024
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR FIS/07
LANGUAGE Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 1° Semester
PREREQUISITES
Propedeuticità in ingresso
Per sostenere l'esame di questo insegnamento è necessario aver sostenuto i seguenti esami:
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

The Biophysics course aims to provide students with the tools to understand the mechanisms underlying the main processes that regulate the functioning of biological phenomena. The complexity of biological systems will be analyzed using the principles of physics and chemistry, the methods of mathematical analysis and computational modeling.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The objective of the Biophysics course is to provide the student with the fundamental knowledge on the structure and function of biological macromolecules and on the interactions that stabilize them and regulate the processes of molecular recognition. Furthermore, the teaching aims to provide the elements for understanding the mechanisms that govern the physical-chemical equilibrium through model membranes, the fundamental processes of transport through biological membranes and the electrical mechanisms underlying the transmission of the nervous signal.
 

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims to provide students with the basics on some of the main issues in biophysics.

At the end of the course the student will be able to:

- know in depth the biological macromolecules and the weak interactions that stabilize their structure

- understand the mechanisms that govern the physical-chemical equilibrium through model membranes

- apply the knowledge acquired on the physical-chemical equilibrium to understand the fundamental processes of active and passive transport through biological membranes

- understand the processes of molecular recognition

- know the main experimental techniques used in the biophysical field

- be able to critically read and understand a scientific article in the field.

 

The Biofisica course can be chosen by students of Master's Degree in Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali with particular reference to "Scienziato dei Materiali: Specialista nella Ricerca" profile.

PREREQUISITES

The basic knowledge needed to successfully follow the lessons are acquired in the first two years of the three-year degree.

TEACHING METHODS

The course consists of lessons for a total of 48 hours. Experts are invited to give seminars, in order to deepen some of the issues addressed in the course. The topics covered in the seminars are an integral part of the course programme. Attendance at lessons is strongly recommended.

 

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Intermolecular forces

Covalent bond - Electrostatic interactions - Polarizability - Dispersion forces - Van der Waals equation - Hydrogen bond - Hydrophobic interactions.

Chemical equilibria

Electrochemical potential - Semipermeable membranes: Nernst, Donnan and osmotic equilibrium - Potential at the membrane/solution interface - Monolayers at the interface - Self-organization of molecules on a surface.

Transport processes

Diffusive and migratory fluxes - Fick's laws - Nernst/Planck's equation - Goldman/Hodgkin/Katz equation.

The cell and transport through the cell membrane

Constituents of biological matter - The cell membrane - Rest potential of a cell - Carriers and channels for ionic transport - Eyring model.

Dynamics of molecular motors

Translational motors - Rotating motors.

Experimental techniques

Protein crystallography - Electrophysiology and patch clamp technique - Fluorescence microscopy - Scanning probe microscopy.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Reference texts for topics covered in the lessons:

J. Israelachvili - Intermolecular and Surface Forces - Academic Press - London        

C. Branden & J. Tooze, Introduction to Protein Structure

G. Rhodes, Crystallography Made Crystal Clear, 2a ed              

G. Giebish; D.C.Tosteson; H.H. Ussing – Membrane Transport in Biology- Springer Verlag. N.Y.

V. Taglietti; C.Casella –Introduzione alla Fisiologia e Biofisica della Cellula. Vol. 2, 3 La Goliardica Pavese. 2008

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

ALESSANDRA PESCE (President)

RANIERI ROLANDI

ORNELLA CAVALLERI (President Substitute)

LESSONS

LESSONS START

Follow the link: https://corsi.unige.it/corsi/8758/studenti-orario

 

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

The exam consists of an oral test by an examination board composed of two professors and lasts 30-40 minutes.
Depending on the regulations related to the COVID-19 emergency, the exams could be carried out online, on the Teams platform.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The oral exam is based on a fixed number of questions (the same for all students) that focus on the course program and allows the commission to judge, in addition to the preparation, the degree of achievement of the educational objectives. When these are not achieved, the student is invited to deepen the study and to make use of further explanations by the professor.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
23/01/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
05/02/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
31/07/2024 09:00 GENOVA Esame su appuntamento
12/09/2024 09:00 GENOVA Esame su appuntamento
16/09/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale

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