Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)
Basic knowledge in Biochemistry and Human Anatomy is desirable.
At the end of the course, students will have achieved an overall knowledge on the fundamental points, both from the theoretical and methodological points of view, of the principal techniques for biochemical/clinical biochemistry analyses and their applications in a clinical biochemical laboratory. Moreover, students will have achieved basic knowledge on free radicals and antioxidants, their role in biological systems and the different methods used for studying them.
Ability to apply the knowledge:
At the end of the course, students will have achieved an overall knowledge on the fundamental points necessary for understanding and executing the most common laboratory tests. Students will reach this goal through lectures on certain analytical methods, on biochemical/clinical laboratory tests, and their general significance regarding the characterization and qualitative and quantitative determination of the principal classes of biomolecules of specific interest for biomedical diagnostics.
The laboratory practicals at the individual level and in groups, and the discussion and interpretation of the results obtained, will contribute to improve the decision-making skills of each student in general, as well as the ability to communicate within a group, and the ability to reach conclusions.
Contents of the lectures:
Withdrawal, conservation and elimination of biological samples. Quality control in a clinical biochemical laboratory. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the most important enzymes and isoenzymes present in tissues and biological liquids. Luminescence and its analytical applications. General information on plasma proteins and their separation, characterization and determination. Physical, chemical and microscopic analysis of urine. Analyses of the principal biochemical constituents involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolisms. Classification, separation and analysis of plasma lipoproteins. Routine hematology. Blood groups. Metabolism of bile pigments. Tumour markers. Free radicals and antioxidants in biological systems and methods for studying oxidative stress.
Determination on normal and pathological lyophilized serum of the concentration of proteins, enzymes and metabolites routinely analysed in biomedical diagnostics, using diagnostic kits and spectrophotometric measurements. Determination of metabolites and physical examination of urine using dipsticks and diagnostic kits. Determination of antioxidant activity on different samples of white and red wine using a spectrophotometric assay based on a stable, coloured radical. At the end of each practical, the student has to hand in the data obtained for comparison with data from other groups/students, followed by discussion/interpretation of the results obtained.
Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The exam consists in a written examination and subsequent revision/discussion. The first part of the exam consists in 15 multiple test questions to be completed in 30 min, and one point is given to each correct answer. The second part of the exam consists of three open questions to be completed in one hour, and for each question a mark from 0 to 5 is given. The result is calculated from the sum of the two written tests. When registering the exam mark, a maximum of two further points may be added, following a brief oral test which is optional.
Criteria for assessing learning outcomes:
In the written exam, the student has to demonstrate that he/she knows and has mastered all the topics of the course and the basics and methods (theory and practice) of the most common biochemical/clinical biochemical analyses. He/she must also be able to critically evaluate the results and the significance of the analyses. During laboratory practicals, the student must show that he/she is able to apply the knowledge acquired during the course in order to perform simple laboratory tests.
Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The final exam mark is out of 30. The exam is considered passed when the mark is greater or equal to 18. There is also the possibility of giving full marks with honors (30 cum laude).
Criteria for conferring final mark:
The final exam mark is given by summing the marks of the two written tests. To this mark, if the student wants (optional), a maximum of two additional points may be added, following a brief oral test at the time of registering the exam mark. The honors (cum laude) is given when the mark obtained from the written tests reaches 30, since the student has demonstrated of having completely mastered the topic, or if the mark obtained from the written tests reaches 29 followed by correctly answering the oral questions.
Notes taken during the lectures and powerpoint presentation handed out by the lecturer.
Biochimica Clinica, A. Gaw, M.J. Murphy, R.A. Cowan, D.J. O’Reilly, M.J. Stewart, J. Shepherd, Terza Edizione (Edizione italiana a cura di M. Lo Bello, L. Rossi), Elsevier Masson S.r.L. 2007.