Combined Bachelor's + Master's degree in Dentistry and Dental Prosthetics


Course code
Name of lecturer
Giuseppe Busetto
Giuseppe Busetto
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
LEZIONI 1° SEMESTRE 2°-3°-4°-5°-6° ANNO dal Oct 1, 2020 al Dec 23, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

1) Knowledge of cellular biophysics and physiology. 2) Mechanisms of function of the organs. 3) Integration of organs function into apparatuses. 4) Local and systemic mechanisms of regulation of organs function. 5) Most important human physiological parameters.


1 Biophysics and cellular physiology
Homeostasis and the constancy of the internal environment. Structure of the membrane. Movement of molecules across the membrane. Resting membrane potential, graded potentials, action potential.

2 Muscle
Skeletal muscle: Molecular bases of contraction; neuromuscular junction, excitation-contraction coupling; types of synaptic transmission block; mechanics and energy expenditure of contraction; types of muscle fibres; motor unit; modulation of strength of contraction; muscle fatigue; effects of exercise. Smooth muscle: classification; molecular bases of contraction; excitation-contraction coupling.

3 Nervous System
Functional anatomy of the neuron. Structure of the synapse. Function of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Temporal and spatial summation. Modulation of synaptic function: short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity. Principles of functional organization of the nervous tissue. Sensory systems: sensory receptors and transduction of sensory stimulus into nerve impulses; classification of sensory modalities; somatic sensation; pain sensation; chemical senses: smell and taste. Motor systems: spinal control of movement; spinal reflexes; alpha-gamma activation; different levels of control of posture and locomotion; functional organization of motor pathways.

4 Cardio-vascular system
Blood tissue: components and regulation of red cells production. The heart: functional structure; rhythmical excitation; excitation-contraction coupling; electrocardiogram in physiology and pathology; the cardiac cycle; regulation of cardiac output and venous return; Starling’s law . Circulation: overview; hemodynamic, pressure, flow, resistance, velocity; arterial pressure, definition, measurement, control; arterioles; local (organ) control of blood flow; capillary flow, diffusion of molecules, filtration and reabsorption of fluids; veins.

5 Respiratory system
Functional anatomy. Ventilation mechanics; Volumes and capacitances of the lungs; partial pressures of the gases; alveolar gas exchanges; respiratory exchange ratio; alveolar ventilation/perfusion ratio; transport of gases in the blood; respiratory center; chemical control of respiration; respiratory alkalosis/acidosis; hypoxia.

6 Kidney
Functional structure. Glomerular filtration, renal blood flow ant their control. Clearance. Renal tubular reabsorption and secretion. Henle’s loop. Control of water and sodium secretion. Control of potassium and calcium secretion. Control of pH.

7 Gastrointestinal system
Functional organization of the gastrointestinal tract. Neuronal and hormonal control GI function. Types of movements. Secretion of fluids and enzymes. Digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids. Salivation and ingestion. The stomach. Small intestine. Colon.

8 Endocrinology
Principles of function. Pituitary hormones and their hypothalamic control. Thyroid and parathyroid hormones. Adrenocortical hormones. Pancreatic hormones. Gonadic hormones.

9 Physiology of the stomatognathic apparatus
Tooth pain sensation. Mechanism and reflexes of chewing. Central control of chewing.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Koeppen B.M., Stanton B.A. Berne Levy Fisiologia (Edizione 6) Ambrosiana 2010
Barrett K.E., Barman S.M., Boitano S., Brooks L.H. Fisiologia Medica di Ganong (Edizione 13) Piccin 2017
Hall Fisiologia medica Test di autovalutazione (Edizione 1) Edra 2017 9788821442254
Hall J.E. Guyton e Hall Fisiologia Medica (Edizione 13) edra 2017
Widmaier E.P., Raff H., Strang K.T. Vander Fisiologia (Edizione 2) Ambrosiana 2018 9788808280022

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral test

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