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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The main training objective of the course is to provide the basis for understanding the chemical and biochemical principles of the pathophysiological processes and to apply them to the human body. In particular, the students will learn for:
Knowledge and understanding:
Gas laws -The properties of solutions -The osmotic pressure -The chemical equilibrium -The acid-base balance -The electrochemical potential - Main functional groups of organic compounds and their reactions - Structure and function of nucleotides and of the main biological macromolecules- hemoglobin: structure and function
Applying knowledge and understanding
Upon course completion, the student must be able to apply the acquired knowledge to the processes that govern the human organism with reference to clinical applications such as: breathing, the maintenance of the osmotic balance, the acid-base balance of the blood.
Comprehension of the scientific bases of Hemogasanalysis
The membrane potential.
Identification of the properties of biological molecules in relation to the presence of specific functional groups
To know apply the reaction mechanisms of organic compounds for the understanding of the biochemical reactions,
Furthermore, the student must be able to perform simple calculations on the concentration of the solutions.


Knowledge of basic concepts of maths. General knowledge of atomic structure, chemical bonds, stoichiometry and the states of matter and preliminary knowledge of the main organic compounds.

Course programme

The course is divided into: Medical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry 1.
In particular, the frontal lectures will cover the following topics:
Matter Structure: representation of the electronic structure of an atom, importance of the
periodic table of elements, oxidation number. Radicals. Nomenclature. The composition in elements of the human body. Biological importance of transition elements (in particular about iron element).
Outline of free radicals and oxidative stress
Radioactivity, types of radiation and radioactive decay, units of measurement, biological effects and meaning of half-life. Clinical applications of radiation
The chemical bond: covalent and dative bond, ionic, hydrogen bond, weak bonds. Hydrophobic interactions. Biological importance of hydrated ions and weak bonds.
Laws of gases, liquid state and solid state and their application in medicine: thermoregulation, surface tension and breathing.
The chemical energy and laws of thermodynamics. Folding and aging.
Types of solutions, methods for determining solution concentration, iso, ipo and hypertonic and physiological solutions, solutions-related properties, Henry's law and oxygenation
Colligative properties of solutions, osmolarity and mechanisms of plasma osmolarity control. Dialysis
Kinetics and balances. Enzymes (outline of pharmacokinetics and enzymes involved in oxidative stress)
Acids, bases and salts, importance of pH and pK. The acid-base reactions in medicine:
antacids.The solubility product in clinics.
Buffers and blood buffers. Acid-base balance. Hemogas Analysis, blood ions, electroneutrality, the Anion Gap. Electrochemistry, membrane potentials and Nernst equation. Biological applications

Organic compounds, structural formulas, Isomeries, Electrophiles, Nucleophiles, IUPAC nomenclature
Aromatic, heterocyclic hydrocarbons. Functional groups and reaction mechanisms. Aliphatic hydrocarbons Alkyl halides. Alcohols: biological oxidations and reductions, Phenols. Tioalcols, Ethers and Thioethers, Amines, aromatic Amines. Aldehydes and Ketones and reactions. Tautomerism. Carboxylic acids, fatty acids, aromatics, oxyacids and keto acids, lactones. Acyl derivatives: acyl halides, anhydrides, thioesters, phosphoric esters and esters, amides. Outgoing group reactivity and reactions. Clinical applications of the main organic compounds.

Biochemistry 1
Classification of biochemical reactions.
Carbohydrates: Monosaccharides, Glucose reactions, Non-enzymatic glycation. Polyalcohols, open and cyclic structures. The glucoside bond. Disaccharides of biological importance. Oligosaccharides, mucus and polysaccharides. Lipids: Saponification reaction, Triglycerides, Oils and fats. Phospholipids, sphingolipids and glycolipids.
Sterols. Hydrophilia, hydrophobicity, micellar solutions and cleaning properties. Reactions of the FANS. Vitamins, Nucleotides, ATP, Coenzymes, DNA and RNA. Notes on Nucleic acids as RNA drugs and vaccines
Some diseases related to vitamin deficiency
Amino acids: properties and their reactions. The peptide bond.
Protein Structure: folding and unfolding of proteins, stability and denaturation. Amyloidosis
Hemoglobin and Iron: Structure and functions
Iron and sex differences

The hours spent on the on-line teaching platform Moodle will provide an in-depth analysis of the following topics:
Concentration of a solution: methods of calculation and exercises.
The maintenance of osmotic balance
The acid-base balance of the blood
Comprehension of the scientific bases of blood-gas analysis

Didactic methods

The 10 ECTS course includes 125 hours of teaching divided into 80 hours of frontal lectures and self-assessment focus . In addition, 45 hours of assisted teaching are provided on the certification moodle platform, which consist of the in-depth study of particularly important topics covered in class (mentioned above) and self-assessment exercises
Learning assessment procedures
The assessment of the learning will be carried out by means of a written exam with 50 questions lasting 50 min. The questions will be formulated with multiple choice questions (4 options for each question) relating to all the training objectives defined above. There will be no penalty for incorrect or unsuccessful answers. The questions will be prepared in order to ascertain the basic knowledge of medical chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry 1. In order to verify the application skills acquired by the student, the solution of problems and simple cases will be required with particular reference to the processes of the human organism , the properties of biological molecules and the understanding of biochemical reactions, as well as calculations on the concentration of solutions. The questions may have a different weight based on the importance of the topic. The final score is attributed in thirtieths: the test is considered passed with a minimum score of 18/30, the maximum is 30 and honors.

Learning assessment procedures

The learning verification will be carried out by a written exam consisting in 50 multiple choice questions (4 options per question with only one correct) for a total duration of 50 minutes in the presence of the teacher. There will not be penalties for wrong or not given answers. The questions will be prepared in order to verify the knowledge acquired by the student about: medical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry. There will be chemistry-related exercises on solutions as well as the resolution of cases related to processes that occur in the human body.
The questions will have a different score (0.5 or 1 points/question, always displayed next to the question) based on the importance of the particular topic and on the verified knowledge. The maximum score is 30 with lode; a minimum score of 18 out of 30 will be required to pass the exam.
N.B. To facilitate the proper preparation for the exam, the student can only attend one session per month.

Reference texts

T. Bellini, Chimica Medica e propedeutica Biochimica con applicazioni cliniche, Ed Zanichelli
Books for consultation
H.Hart, Chimica Organica, Ed. Zanichelli
L.Nelson, M.M Cox, Principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, Ed Zanichelli