Bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy (to qualify as a physiotherapist) (Verona)

Propaedeutic physical and biological sciences (2020/2021)

Course code
Cristina Bombieri

Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
BIOCHIMICA 2 BIO/10-BIOCHEMISTRY FISIO VR 1^ anno - 1^semestre Giovanni Gotte
FISICA APPLICATA 2 FIS/07-APPLIED PHYSICS FISIO VR 1^ anno - 1^semestre Pasquina Marzola
BIOLOGIA APPLICATA 2 BIO/13-EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY FISIO VR 1^ anno - 1^semestre Cristina Bombieri


PREPARATORY CHEMISTRY (several notions are included in the basic knowledge required). 1. Atomic structure and periodic properties of the elements: matter composition, atom, atomic particles; atomic theory; quantum numbers, and orbitals; electronic configuration, periodic table and chemical reactivity of the elements; electronic affinity, electronegativity. 2. The chemical bond: molecules and ions; ionic and covalent bond; intermolecular forces; hydrogen bond. 3. Solutions and acid-base reactions: concentration of the solutions, acid-base theories of Arrhenius and Brőnsted-Lowry; hydracids, hydroxides, oxyacids; acid-base reactions; pH and buffer solutions. 4. Organic chemistry notions: carbon atom properties; hybrid orbitals; organic compounds classification: functional groups; hydrocarbons; alcohols, ethers, thiols, amines, aldehydes and ketones; carboxylic acids, esters, anhydrides. BIOCHEMISTRY 1. Constitutive elements of the living matter: polymeric structure of the biological macromolecules. 2. Protein structure and function: aminoacid classification, buffering power, peptide bond, levels of protein structure; fibrous and globular proteins; hemoglobin and myoglobin: structure, function, factors influencing the oxygen bond; hemoglobin variants; enzymes: classification, role in the chemical reactions, regulation of the enzymatic activity. 3. Vitamins: hydro- and lypo-soluble vitamins; co-enzymes. 4. Bio-energetics: metabolism; chemical transformations in the cell; spontaneous and non-spontaneous reactions of the metabolic reactions; ATP as “energy exchange coin”; biologically relevant redox reactions. 5. Carbohydrates structure and metabolism: mono- and disaccharides; polysaccharides; glycoconjugates; glycolysis and its regulation; gluconeogenesis; hints of the penthose phosphate pathway; synthesis of the glycogen. 6. Citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation: mitochondria; acetyl-CoA synthesis; citric acid cycle control; respiratory chain and electron transport; ATP synthesis. 7. Lipids structure and metabolism: structural lipids and biological membranes; cholesterol; stock-reserve lipids; lipids digestion and fatty acid β-oxydation; keton bodies formation; hints of fatty acids biosynthesis. 8. Aminoacid metabolism: hints of gluco- and keto-forming aminoacids; transamination and oxidative deamination; the urea cycle. Frontal teaching is the exclusive method adopted in this Course.

Introduction Physical quantities, Base physical quantities and derived physical quantities. Standards of length, mass and time. MKS and cgs systems of units. Cartesian frame of reference. Vector and scalar quantities. Components and magnitude of a vector. Addition and subtraction of vectors. Unit vectors. The scalar and vector products of vectors. Mechanics Displacement, Velocity, Acceleration. Average and instantaneous velocity. Particle under constant velocity. Average and instantaneous acceleration. Particle under constant acceleration. Forces . The principles of dynamics . Law of universal gravity. Weight. Friction force. Circular uniform motion. Rigid body, body center of mass and center of gravity. Moment of force. Equilibrium of a rigid boby. Definition of Work and Energy. Kinetic energy. Work-kinetic energy theorem. Conservative forces. Potential energy. Law of conservation of mechanical energy. Power. Fluids Definition of Fluid. Density. Pressure. Archimede’s principle. Variation of pressure with depth (Stevin’s Law). Pascal’s Law. Measurement of atmospheric pressure or Torricelli’s experiment. Pressure Units: atm, mmHg, Pa. Pressure measurements. Archimede’s principle. Fluid dynamics. Bernoulli’s equationU-tube manometers. Flow. Measurement of arterial blood pressure. Perfect fluid. Continuity equation for flow and its application to blood circulation. Bernoulli’s theorem and its application to stenosis and aneurysm. Real fluid and viscosity. Blood viscosity. Poiseuille’s Law. Physiological effects of hydrostatic pressure. Thermal phenomena and gases Temperatue, heat. Thermal expansion. Mercury thermometer. Celsius, Kelvin anf Farheneit Scale. Thermal capacity, specific heat. Mechanical equivalent of heat. Gas laws: First and second Gay-Lussac laws. The absolute temperature (Kelvin Scale). Boyle’s law. Avogadro’s law. Ideal gas law. Thermodynamic systems and process. First and second law of thermodynamics. Heat transport by conduction, convection and radiation. Electrical phenomena Electric charge. Coloumb’s law. Electic field, potential energy and electric potential. Electric current. Ohm’s law. Resistance and resistivity. Conductors and insulators. The electronvolt. Electromagnetism (hints). Waves Mechanical and electromagnetic waves; transverse and longitudinal waves. Period, frequency, wavelength and propagation speed. Amplitude, energy, intensity of wave, Mechanical waves: the sound. Electromagnetic waves, the speed of light, spectrum of electromagnetic waves; the photon energy.

Collection and organization of biomedical data: - stages of a statistical research - population, sample and statistical units - measurement process and measurement scales - precision and accuracy of a measuring instrument - absolute and relative frequencies - cumulative frequencies - one and two-way frequency tables.
Graphical representation of biomedical data: - pie chart - bar chart - histogram - cumulative frequency polygons.
Measures of location and dispersion: - mode - percentiles and median - simple and weighted arithmetic mean - range - interquartile range - deviance, variance and standard deviation - coefficient of variation.
An introduction to probability theory: - definition of probability - independent and conditional probability - Gaussian distribution.
Diagnostic and screening tests: - sensitivity and specificity.

- Characteristics of the living beings. Origin of life and evolution. Cell Theory.
- Water: characteristics and biological importance.
- Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell and virus. Structure, function and organization of the cell. Endosymbiotic theory.
- Biological membrane: structure, properties and function. Passage of materials across cell membranes. Cell junctions.
- Cell signaling: stimuli, receptors, signal transduction, cellular responses.
-The human genome: Organisation of DNA in chromosome. Structure and composition of chromosomes; Euchromatin and Heterochromatin.
- Cell cycle and its regulation. Asexual reproduction and Mitosis. Sexual reproduction and meiosis.
- Chromosomal bases of inheritance: Autosome andsexual chromosomes. X inactivation. Normal and pathological human karyotype.
- Molecular bases of inheritance. DNA: structure, function, replication and its role in heredity. Definition of gene. DNA mutation and repair.
- Informational pathway: transcription, RNA processing, genetic code, mRNA translation and protein synthesis.
- Modes of transmission of hereditary characters and Mendel’s laws. Exceptions to Mendelian inheritance. Genetics of AB0 and Rh blood groups.
- Hereditary and genetic diseases. Examples. Somatic mutations and cancer.
- Genomic in medicine. Pedigree drawing and interpretation. Genetic risk.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of 4 written tests, one for each module, based on all the issues covered throughout the course. Tests can be passed separately as long as they are taken within the same academic year. For each academic year, 6 periods are available to take the exams: 2 in the Winter Session at the end of the course, 2 in the Summer Session and 2 in the Autumn Session. In order to gain access to the biology test, students must have first discharged any training debts relating to the minimum biology, chemistry and physics knowledge.
To pass the exam, students must get a score of not less than 18/30 in each test. The final mark (/out of 30) willl derive from the weighted average over credits of each single test score. Students can retire or refuse the proposed score: in such case, any partial credit will be canceled and the students shall enroll again for the whole examination (all the 4 tests).

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Monaco V., Sacchi R., Solano A. Elementi di Fisica McGrawHill 2007 978-88-386-1698-3
Lantieri PB, Risso D, Ravera G Elementi di Statistica Medica McGraw-Hill 2007
Verlato G, Zanolin ME Esercizi di Statistica Medica, Informatica ed Epidemiologia Libreria Cortina Editrice, Verona 2000
Fowler J, Jarvis P, Chevannes M Statistica per le Professioni Sanitarie EdiSES srl, Napoli 2006
Solomon, Martin, Martin, Berg Elementi di Biologia (Edizione 7) EdiSES 2017 978-88-7959-938-2
Raven, Johnson, Mason, Losos, Singer Elementi di biologia e genetica (Edizione 2) Piccin 2019
Sadava, Hillis, Craig Heller, Hacker Elementi di Biologia e Genetica (Edizione 5) Zanichelli 2019

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