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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The aim of the course is to enable students to understand living processes in the human organism, providing the basis for the scientific understanding of pathological changes.
As for the parameters of:
At the end of the course the student will:
- know the principles of cell biophysics;
- know the principles of the cardiovascular system;
- know the principles of the respiratory system;
- know the principles of the renal system;
- acquire the appropriate physiological terminology as well as knowledge about the essential parameters to evaluate the function of the systems.
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
- integrate knowledge about Physics, Biochemistry and Human Anatomy in a more general framework about the cell biophysics and the function of the cardiovascular, respiratory and renal system;
- the student at the end of the course will have acquired the tools required to evaluate pathology starting from basic physiological processes.


Basic knowledge of the first principles of Physics, chemistry and biochemistry. Basic knowledge of human anatomy.
Passing exams of: Medical Physics and mathematics, Human anatomy II and propedeutical clinic, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Course programme

Properties of excitable membranes. The resting potential. The action potential. The synaptic transmission. Contractility with special reference to the skeletal muscle. Muscle mechanics. Blood and lymph. The cardiovascular system: the heart as a pump; electrophysiology of the heart; circulatory mechanics; determinants and distribution of systemic blood flow; determinants of arterial blood pressure; control of the cardiovascular system; the microcirculation. Respiration: pulmonary mechanics; lung volumes and capacities; gas exchanges and transportation; the chemical regulation of ventilation. Nervous control of the breath. The kidney and body fluids: the glomerular filtration process; tubular transport processes, renal circulation; regulatory functions of the kidney; physiology of body fluids.

Didactic methods

The course provides theoretical lectures and online assisted teaching. The hours of on-line teaching of moodle platform certification service consisting in the deepening of some topics covered in class and indicated by the teacher at the beginning of the course.

Learning assessment procedures

Written + Oral Exam. The written test, valid for admission to oral examination, consists of sixty questions with true / false answers. Duration: 60 minutes. The test will be conducted without the use of notes or books or multimedia supports, in the presence of teachers. Correct answer: +1; wrong answer: -1; no answer: 0. The student will have to reach 36 points. The evaluation will be weighted according to the importance of the errors and of the omitted responses. The written test will preselect students for the oral exam, and will not be averaged with it.
The oral exam, lasting about thirty minutes, provides a teacher's question to test the basic knowledge of the main physiological mechanisms of the body. In selected cases, a second question could be made by another member of the exam committee. Language property, exhibit clarity, reasonableness of reasoning, and analytical capacity are also evaluated.

Reference texts

Berne & Levy, Fisiologia, VI ed. a cura di B.M. Koeppen e B.A. Stanton - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano
E.R. Kandel, J.H. Schwartz, T.M. Jessell, S.A Siegelbaum, A.J. Hudspeth, Principi di neuroscienze, IV ed. - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana