BIOPHYSICS

BIOPHYSICS

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iten
Code
61738
ACADEMIC YEAR
2018/2019
CREDITS
6 credits during the 3nd year of 8758 PHYSICS (L-30) GENOVA

6 credits during the 2nd year of 9012 PHYSICS (LM-17) GENOVA

6 credits during the 1st year of 9017 Materials Science and Engineering (LM-53) GENOVA

6 credits during the 2nd year of 9017 Materials Science and Engineering (LM-53) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
FIS/07
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (PHYSICS)
semester
1° Semester
Prerequisites
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

The Biophysics course aims to provide students with the tools to understand the mechanisms underlying the main processes that regulate the functioning of biological phenomena. The complexity of biological systems will be analyzed using the principles of physics and chemistry, the methods of mathematical analysis and computational modeling.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Overview

The Biophysics course aims to provide students with the tools to understand the mechanisms underlying the main processes that regulate the functioning of biological phenomena. The complexity of biological systems will be analyzed using the principles of physics and chemistry, the methods of mathematical analysis and computational modeling.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims to provide students with the basics on some of the main issues in biophysics.
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
- know in depth the biological macromolecules and the weak interactions that stabilize their structure
- understand the mechanisms that govern the physical-chemical equilibrium through model membranes
- apply the knowledge acquired on the physical-chemical equilibrium to understand the fundamental processes of active and passive transport through biological membranes
- know the electrical mechanisms underlying the transmission of the nerve signal
- understand the processes of molecular recognition
- know the main experimental techniques used in the biophysical field
- critically read and understand a scientific article in the field.

PREREQUISITES

The basic knowledge needed to successfully follow the lessons are acquired in the first two years of the three-year degree.

Teaching methods

The course consists of lessons for a total of 48 hours. Experts are invited to give seminars, in order to deepen some of the issues addressed in the course. Attendance at lessons is strongly recommended.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Intermolecular forces
Covalent bond - Electrostatic interactions - Polarizability - Dispersion forces - Van der Waals equation - Hydrogen bond - Hydrophobic interactions.
Chemical equilibria
Electrochemical potential - Semipermeable membranes: Nernst, Donnan and osmotic equilibrium - Potential at the membrane/solution interface - Monolayers at the interface - Self-organization of molecules on a surface.
Transport processes
Diffusive and migratory fluxes - Fick's laws - Nernst/Planck's equation - Goldman/Hodgkin/Katz equation.
The cell and transport through the cell membrane
Constituents of biological matter - The cell membrane - Rest potential of a cell - Carriers and channels for ionic transport - Eyring model - Propagation of the nerve signal.
Dynamics of molecular motors
Translational motors - Rotating motors.
Experimental techniques
Protein crystallography - Electrophysiology and patch clamp technique - Fluorescence microscopy - Scanning probe microscopy.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

J. Israelachvili - Intermolecular and Surface Forces - Academic Press - London        

C. Branden & J. Tooze, Introduction to Protein Structure

G. Rhodes, Crystallography Made Crystal Clear, 2a ed              

G. Giebish; D.C.Tosteson; H.H. Ussing – Membrane Transport in Biology- Springer Verlag. N.Y.

V. Taglietti; C.Casella –Introduzione alla Fisiologia e Biofisica della Cellula. Vol. 2, 3 La Goliardica Pavese. 2008

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: On request

Ricevimento: On request

Exam Board

ORNELLA CAVALLERI (President)

ALESSANDRA PESCE (President)

ANNALISA RELINI

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The course consists of lessons for a total of 48 hours. Experts are invited to give seminars, in order to deepen some of the issues addressed in the course. Attendance at lessons is strongly recommended.

LESSONS START

From the last week of September 2018 (consult website (https://dida.fisica.unige.it/dida/i-corsi-di-fisica-a-genova/laurea-triennale-l-30.html) for details)

ORARI

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile su EasyAcademy.

Vedi anche:

BIOPHYSICS

EXAMS

Exam description

The exam consists of an oral test by an examination board composed of two professors and lasts 30-40 minutes.

Assessment methods

The oral exam is based on a fixed number of questions (the same for all students) that focus on the exam program and allows the commission to judge, in addition to the preparation, the degree of achievement of the educational objectives. When these are not achieved, the student is invited to deepen the study and to make use of further explanations by the professor.