cod. 00061

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Biochimica (BIO/10)
Scienze biomediche
Type of training activity
16 hours
of face-to-face activities
2 credits
hub: -
course unit

Integrated course unit module: BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES

Learning objectives

The main objective of the course is to provide the students with the essential notions to learn and understand the structure and function of the complex biomolecules. Of these molecules the student is required to know the fundamental metabolic pathways and regulation.



Course unit content

After a brief introduction to the basic principles of Organic Chemistry, the main molecules of biological systems will be presented: carbohydrates,
lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, and ATP as energy carrier. In the second section main subject will be General and Metabolic Biochemistry with particular emphasis on bioenergetics, red-ox biological reactions, and cell metabolism. The last part deals with the applications of biochemistry in radiology.

Full programme

A) INTRODUCTION: fundamentals of organic chemistry.
Carbohydrates. Structure and classification of monosaccharides. The glycosidic bond, disaccharides. Homopolysaccharides: starch and glycogen. Amino acids: structural properties and classification. Peptides and proteins: the peptide bond and its characteristics. Protein structure: primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure. Conformation and function of proteins. Lipids: classification, structure and function of fatty acids, triglycerides and cholesterol. Biological membranes: the lipid bilayer and membrane proteins. Nucleotides and nucleic acids.
Hemoglobin: structure and function. Molecular mechanism of O2 transport. Factors that change the affinity for O2.
Enzymatic catalysis. Active site, specificity. Nature of enzymes and their classification.
Free energy and spontaneity of reactions. The thermodynamics of biological reactions, ATP as an energy carrier.
Cellular metabolism. Oxidation and degradation reactions, biosynthesis reactions.
Mitochondrial bioenergetics. Coenzymes and biological oxidationreductions.
The respiratory chain: components and functions. Mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation.
The metabolism of carbohydrates. Glycolysis, energy balance and regulation. The fate of pyruvate in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The Krebs cycle. Gluconeogenesis. Glycogen metabolism. Hormonal control of glucose metabolism by adrenaline, glucagon and insulin. Lipid and protein metabolism in brief.
D) The biochemistry of Radiology: Chemical composition of the human body. Radioisotopic compounds in imaging and therapy. Molecular Imaging.


Biochimica Essenziale- con richiami di chimica generale e chimica organica. Grabriele D'Andrea. Edises

Teaching methods

During frontal lectures, teacher will illustrate and discuss the different topics/arguments of the program. Lectures will be supported by slide presentations, which will be available to students on Elly platform (
Office hours are offered for clarifications and exercises.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the module includes a written exam, consisting of multiple choice quizzes and open questions. The knowledge and understanding of the contents by the students will be assessed through questions on the topics of the whole module. Through the resolution of problems the students ability to apply the acquired knowledge will be assessed. The final valuation will give more weight to the open questions.

Other information

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