Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2015/16
Fundamentals of biology, anatomy and physiology
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Biomedical Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Roatta Silvestro ORARIO RICEVIMENTO     44 16 0 0 11
SSD CFU Activities Area context
BIO/09 6 C - Affini o integrative Attività formative affini o integrative
Subject fundamentals
The course provides an integrated view of the different body functions, regulatory systems and their interactions. During the course the basic notions of biology and anatomy will be introduced. Information about the terminology used in the biomedical field will be provided.
Expected learning outcomes
After attending the course the student should have acquired a comprehensive understanding of body functions and should be able to identify and describe the regulatory mechanisms that respond to internal and environmental challenges, and grant the maintenance of homeostasis and survival. At the end of the course the student should have improved his capacity to discuss and interact with professionals with biomedical background.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
No specific prerequisites.
Biology of cells and tissues
Electronic and optic microscope. Eucaryotic cells: intracellular structures and functions. Plasma membrane. Endoplasmic reticulum. Golgi apparatus and lysosomes. Cytoskeleton. Nucleus and its functions: DNA duplication and transcription. Gene expression: gene promoters, transcription factors. Cell division: mitosis and meiosis. Cell junctions: Tight and Gap juntions. Definitionof composition and function of extracellular matrix.Connective tissue: classification, structure anf function. Bone tissue. Bone implants

Introduction to nervous system
The resting membrane potential and action potential. Nernst equation. Membrane potential. Electrotonic propagation of electric stimuli. Action potential and myelination. Ion channels, electrical and chemical synapses. Neurotrasmitters. Postsynaptic receptors. Somatic receptors. Potential receptor. Dinamic and static sensibility, adaptation. From stimulus to sensation: absolute and differential threshold, spatial threshold. Weber-Fechner law.

Skeletal Muscles, excitation-contraction coupling. Tetanic and sub-tetanic contractions. Isometric and isotonic contractions. Types of muscle fibres. Motor unit and recruitment. Force control strategies. Electromyography. Comparative description of smooth and cardiac muscles and functional difference.

Central and peripheral nervous system
Anatomy. The glia. Cerebrospinal fluid. Somatic sensitivity. Somatosensory and motor cortex. Motor control. Corticospinal pathways. Autonomic Nervous System: main actions of sympathetic and parasympathetic systems on the organs and tissues. Adrenal medulla. Stress reactions

Cardiovascular System
Heart: Pace-maker cells and the conduction system. Mechanical aspects of the cardiac cycle. Regulation and assessment of cardiac output. Neural control. Electrocardiography: genesis of ECG signal – Standard recordings and computation of average axis of ventricular electric activity. Main abnormalities of ECG. Vascular system: in-parallel and in-series vascular circuits. Pressure, volume and vascular resistance. Arterial blood pressure assessment and its dependence on posture. Mechanisms responsible for venous return. Determinants and regulation of arterial blood pressure. Properties defining feedback systems: gain, range and amplitude of the response. Coronary and cerebral circulations.
Microcirculation: capillary exchange. Liquid compartments in the body. Capillary filtration, oedema. The lymphatic system.

The Respiratory System.
Mechanics of breathing, lung volumes and pressures, compliance of the involved structures. Gas laws. Gas exchange in lungs and tissues and gas transport in the blood, role of haemoglobin. Neural control of ventilation. Hypo- and hyperbaric conditions. Hypoxia.

The Kidneys and urinary system.
Overview of renal function: filtration, reabsorption, secretion, excretion, micturition. Autoregulation of glomerular filtration rate. Concept of clearance. Water balance and the integrated control of volume and osmolarity. Sources of acids and bases in the body. Regulation of pH by buffers, lungs and kidneys. Alterations of acid-base balance

Endocrine System:
Hormones, classification and reflex pathways. Control of hormone release. Main effects of hyper- and hypo-secretion of the various hormones.

The Digestive system and Metabolism
Anatomy. Motility, secretion, digestion and absorption of the gastrointestinal tract. Muscle contraction. Enzymes, liquid and ions secretion. Digestion and adsorption . Nervous control of digestive function.

Immune system:
Natural and specific immune system. Leukocytes, mast cells and macrophages. Hematopoiesis. Phagocytosis. T and B lymphocytes and their receptors. Major histocompatibility complex: structure and function. Immune memory. Lymphatic system and inflammatory process.
Delivery modes
Experimental sessions are organized in order for the students to to directly observe and measure different physiological variables, e.g., cardiac activity by ECG, vascular reactivity by eco-Doppler flowmetry.
Two simulations of the written exam are also performed during the year. In these occasions residual questions and doubts are once more addressed and discussed.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
Slides used during the lectures are provided on the website

Some suggested text books (but many others are available)
Stanfield, Fisiologia, ed. Edises Napoli
Silverthorn, Fisiologia umana, ed. Pearson, Milano-Torino.
Klinke Fisiologia Edises, Napoli

Thibodeau e Patton, Anatomia e Fisiologia, Ambrosiana, Milano
Martini F.H. Fondamenti di anatomia e fisiologia. Edises, Napoli
Assessment and grading criteria
The written exam may include both close-ended (T/F) and open-ended questions. Close-ended questions are scored 1 if correct, 0 if not answered and -0.5 if wrong. The relative weight between the two parts is detailed in the text.
Students scoring at least 17/30 at the written exam are admitted to the oral exam, which is not mandatory if the mark is greater or equal to 18/30.
The final mark is the average of the ones obtained at the written and oral tests.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18

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