Bachelor's degree in Nursing (to qualify as a nurse) (Bolzano)

Morphological and functional fundamentals of life - FISIOLOGIA

Course code
Name of lecturer
Brigitte Maier
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
INF BZ - 1° anno 1° sem dal Oct 1, 2018 al Dec 21, 2018.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course introduces the student to the ability of describing the human’s body structure from the macroscopic level to the microscopic level in health conditions and to know the essential morphologic characteristics of systems, organs, tissues, cells and subcellular structures of the human body and their main related Morphofunctional. It also proposes the study of the physiological phenomena of the various systems, in a holistic view , from the cell to the whole organism and to recognize the principles of homeostasis and the control mechanisms that oversee them and the major adjustments in non- basal conditions.


- Muscolar apparatus:
Structure. contractile proteins. Tractor and neuromuscular transmission plate. Muscle contraction. Isotonic and isometric contraction. Shock simple and tetanus. Motor unit. White and red muscle fibers. Muscle metabolism. Consuming energy. Unitary and multi- unit smooth muscle. Automatism; syncytial run; response to stretching; report potential membrane - shrinking; innervation; chemical mediators.
- Cardiovascular apparatus:
The electrical activity of the heart. Generation and conduction of excitement. Ionic basis of resting potential and action potential. Refractory periods and their meanings. Vagal and sympathetic stimulation effects of electrical and mechanical activity of the myocardium. Temporal relations between electrical and mechanical events. Baroreceptor reflex, reflex Bainbridge and atrial receptors. Chemoreceptor reflex. Intrinsic and extrinsic regulation of cardiac function.
Nervous and chemical control of heart function. Einthoven triangle; electrical axis. cardiac cycle. Mechanical events: systole and diastole. Changes in aortic pressure, ventricular pressure and volume of blood in the atria and ventricles. Heart sounds. Systolic and cardiac output range. Methods for the measurement of lung apparatus and renal tract. Cardiac output. Factors affecting cardiac output; change in heart rate and stroke volume. Intrinsic regulation , the Frank - Starling mechanism (relationship voltage-length adaptation of heart and changes in peripheral resistance and venous return), nervous and hormonal regulation. Extrinsic adjustment of the frequency and cardiac contractility. Metabolism and oxygen consumption. Elements of hydrostatic and hydrodynamic. Vessels in series and in parallel and their resistances. Principle of Bemouilli. Laminar and turbulent flow. Laplace law. The structure of blood vessels : arteries, capillaries ,veins. Arteries: passive tension and Laplace law, active tension and closing critical pressure; resistance in the arterial bed. peripheral vascular innervation. Myogenic activity in small vessels. Capillary and lymphatic circulation. Structure of the capillaries. Extent and morphology of the capillary bed. Transcapillaries exchanges . Adjustment of capillary flow. The venous circulation: dispensability, hydrostatic factor and capacity of the venous bed. Central and peripheral arterial pulse; source and pulse wave propagation. Adjustment reflected in blood pressure. Nervous regulation of the circulation, and rapid control of blood pressure. Reflex mechanisms for the maintenance of blood pressure. Baroreceptors and their effects on cardiac inhibitor centers, cardio-accelerator, vasomotor. Chemoreceptors and cardiovascular responses. Ischemic response of the central nervous systems. Long-term regulation of blood pressure: role of the kidney. Kidney: liquid system body for the control of blood pressure. The renin-angiotensin system in blood pressure control. Venous return and factors which favor the venous return. Hemodynamics of pulmonary circulation: the pressure and the velocity of blood in the arterial beds, capillary and venous. Capacity, distensibility and resistance of the pulmonary circulation.
- Lung apparatus:
Respiratory mechanics. Chest - lung ratios. Respiratory muscles and their action. Intrathoracic pressure and intrapulmonary and their variations during breathing . Pneumothorax. Pulmonary volumes and capacities: definitions and measures. Pressure-volume relationship in static and dynamic conditions. Pulmonary complication. WOB (work of breathing). Gas Laws. Composition of the air inhaled , exhaled air and alveolar and gas partial pressures. Anatomical and physiological dead space. Lung and alveolar ventilation. Diffusion of gases between the lungs and blood. Ventilation/perfusion ratio. Oxygen transport. Oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve. Influence of pCO2, pH and temperature. Quantitative aspects of the transport of oxygen in the blood. Transport of carbon dioxide. Nervous and chemical control of respiration. Bulbo-pontine respiratory centers. Peripheral and central chemoreceptors and their function in the fan setting.
- Renal tract:
1) nephron: glomerulous and tubule. Renal circulation . Autoregulation. Ultrafiltration process. Ultrafiltrate composition. mechanisms of reabsorption and secretion. Clearance of inulin , the PAI and determination of GFR and RPF. Tubular reabsorption of glucose. Maximum transport. Reabsorption of water. Concentration and dilution of urine. Hormonal regulation: ADH , aldosterone, renin. Compensatory kidney to the acid- base disturbances mechanisms. Urination. 2) Fluid balance and acid-base: hydrogen ion concentration in the blood and buffer systems. Acid-base disorders: metabolic and respiratory acidosis and alkalosis and compensatory mechanisms respiratory and kidney. Maintenance mechanisms of volume and osmolarity of extracellular fluid.
- Gastrointestinal tract - pancreas and liver:
salivary secretion. Esophagus. Filling and emptying of the stomach. Gastric secretion glands of the gastric mucosa; composition and functions of the gastric juice. Nervous and humoral control of motility and gastric secretion. Exocrine secretion of the pancreas and biliary secretion. Nervous and humoral control of pancreatic secretion. Composition, neural and chemical control of the biliary secretion. Nervous and humoral control of motility and intestinal secretion. Intestinal absorption of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, water and electrolytes.
- Nervous system:
1) central and peripheral nervous system: functional organization of the central nervous system. Functions of the sensory and motor cortex. Spinal reflexes. Thermal and pain sensitivity. Ache. Thermoregulation. Functions of the autonomic nervous system. Chemical mediators and their receptors. Effects vegetative sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation independent on different organs. 2) endocrine system: chemical characteristics, mechanisms of action and regulation of hormone secretion. Hypothalamus. Anterior pituitary: TSH, FSH, LH, ACTH, GH, prolactin. Posterior pituitary: ADH, oxytocin. Thyroid: triiodothyronine, thyroxine, calcitonin. Parathyroid: PTH. endocrine pancreas: insulin, glucagon. Adrenal cortex: cortisol, aldosterone. Adrenal medulla: adrenaline, noradrenaline.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Stefan Silbernagl, Agamemnon Despopoulos Fisiologia. Atlante tascabile (Edizione 3) CEA 2008
Schmidt/Lang/Heckmann Physiologie des Menschen mit Pathophysiologie (Edizione 31) Springer 2010
Stefan Silbernagl & Agamemnon Despopulos Taschenatlas der Physiologie Thieme 2012

Assessment methods and criteria

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