PHYSICS AND BIOPHYSICS

PHYSICS AND BIOPHYSICS

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iten
Code
58013
ACADEMIC YEAR
2020/2021
CREDITS
5 credits during the 1st year of 8745 MEDICINE AND SURGERY (LM-41) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
FIS/07
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (MEDICINE AND SURGERY)
semester
1° Semester
Prerequisites
modules
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

The Physics and Biophysics course reviews and uses the concepts of classical and modern physics to get insight into some aspects of physiology and to introduce the principles underlying some diagnostic and some therapeutic techniques. A specific attention is paid to the quantification of phenomena, aiming to a conscious use of the physical quantities commonly encountered in medicine

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Understanding how the physiology of different body parts follows the fundamental principles of physics.

Applying simple models in order to predict physiological quantities and their change in presence of anatomical dysfunctions, of particular environmental conditions or harmful activities.

Understanding the physics underlying some diagnostic methodologies. Providing the ability to link the outcome of clinical measurements to physical parameters that are related to the operation of internal organs.

Understanding the physical principles underlying the operation of medical devices.

Teaching methods

Physics and Biophysics is a 43-hour course. The activity is divided into lectures (31 hours) and exercise classes. The exercises deal with both topics already introduced during lectures and with supplemental applicative examples (12 hours).   

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

  • Reviews of mechanics. Equilibrium equations for a rigid body. Barycenter. Levers with examples referred to the human body. Conditions for static equilibrium in the gravitational field
  • Angular momentum. Moment of inertia. Conservation of angular momentum. Euler’s equations. Applications of the law of conservation of angular momentum in biomechanics. Orbital and spin angular momentum of electrons.
  • Elements of the theory of elasticity. Hooke’s law, Young’s modulus, ultimate strength. Bone fracture.

 

  • Fluids: pressure, mass flow rate, hydrostatic pressure. Ideal fluids: Bernoulli’s equation.
  • Applications of Bernoulli’s equation: Torricelli’s law, Magnus effect
  • Viscous fluids, laminar flow, turbulent flow, and critical velocity. Poiseuille’s law.
  • Surface tension: definition and microscopic view. Surface tension in solutions, surfactants. Liquid-liquid and solid-liquid contact angles. Wettability and superhydrophobic surfaces. Capillarity phenomena. Elastic tension. Laplace’s law.
  • Circulatory system: pressure and flow rate in blood vessels. Aneurysm and stenosis. Measuring the flow rate. Blood and its viscosity. Types of flow in the circulatory system, Hydrostatic pressure effects. Heart work and cardiac power output.   
  • Pulsatility, sphygmic wave, pulsatile flow; Laplace’s law and the heart
  • Respiratory system. Spirometer, respiratory work, embolism.

 

  • Solutions: definitions for concentration, solute flow and solution flow. Fick’s law.
  • Diffusion coefficient, free diffusion in gases; biological membranes and permeability. Semipermeable membranes.
  • Osmosis. Osmotic pressure and gas law; osmolarity; osmotic equilibrium in blood; gas diffusion in biological systems.

 

  • The first law of thermodynamics; thermal efficiency, second law of thermodynamics, Carnot heat engine.
  • Thermodynamics and physiology; mechanisms of heat exchange (conduction, convection, radiation, transpiration).

 

  • Coulomb’s law, electric dipole, dipolar layer, capacity, capacitor charge and discharge, pacemaker; magnetic field; electromagnetic induction. Electrical phenomena in biological systems: Nernst equation, membrane resting potential, sodium-potassium pumps; action potential, ECG, EEG, EMG.

 

  • Wave phenomena: elastic waves, transverse and longitudinal waves, harmonic motion; wave intensity, Fourier analysis, wave propagation, spherical and plane waves, interference, Doppler effect.
  • Sound waves, bulk modulus of the medium and the speed of sound; acoustic impedance, reflection and refraction; sound levels and physiology.
  • Auditory system and vocal tract
  • Introduction to geometrical optics, refraction, refractive surface of revolution, and the thin lens.
  • The microscope. The laser and optical fibers.
  • The visual system

 

  • Notes on modern physics, X-rays and their use in medicine, IR and UV radiation, dosimetry

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

G. Bellini, R. Cerbino, G. Manuzio, F. Marzari, L. Repetto, L. Zennaro, Fisica per Medicina con applicazioni fisiologiche, diagnostiche e terapeutiche, PICCIN 

Lecture slides provided through Aulaweb

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: By appointment

Ricevimento: reception by appointment

Exam Board

DARIO MASSABO' (President)

GIANNI VIARDO VERCELLI (President)

LUCA REPETTO

LESSONS

Teaching methods

Physics and Biophysics is a 43-hour course. The activity is divided into lectures (31 hours) and exercise classes. The exercises deal with both topics already introduced during lectures and with supplemental applicative examples (12 hours).   

EXAMS

Exam description

Written exam (9 multiple choice test questions and 5 problems with numerical solution on the physics part together with 6 multiple choice test questions on the Informatics part; the overall testing time is 3 hours.

Assessment methods

Evaluation methods are based on partial or global exams where the student shall show a proper knowledge of the course topics, and the ability to use the related concepts for the quantification of the physical quantities relevant in medicine. Minimum marks required to pass the exam is 18/30. In order to achieve 30/30 or 30/30 cum laude an excellent knowledge is required. During the class period, self-evaluation tests on the Aulaweb platform are proposed. The aim of these tests is to provide the student with an instrument to evaluate his/her progress in the preparation.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Teaching material si provided through the Aulaweb platform