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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


The course aims to provide the student with the tools to acquire the theoretical and operational skills in physiology, from the biochemical/cellular level to the whole animal, to understand the functioning of the living beings and the integrative mechanisms involved in homeostasis control.
In particular, the student will have as its objectives:
-knowledge and understanding: to know and understand the morpho-functional aspects of the mechanisms for regulating and maintaining the homeostasis of physiological processes in cell and animal organisms;
-applying knowledge and understanding: apply and link the acquired knowledge and skills of the physiological function of organisms; be able to apply them to "new" situations for the acquisition of skills that meet quality professional standards;
-communication skills: learn the specific scientific language that allows to express and argue with disciplinary language the knowledge using the appropriate terminology;
-making judgements: to develop critical thinking skills and independent judgment in order to make connections among different topics, to evaluate the general correctness of an argument on physiological functions by integrating the acquired knowledge;
-learning skills: acquire basic knowledge about the general organization and functionality of the main apparatus and control mechanisms by which the organism acts in different circumstances. Acquire self-assessment skills of its own knowledge and be able to update its competences in the field of physiology for the training needs


Knowledge of inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, cell biology and comparative anatomy


-Cell Physiology: general information on structure and functions of the cell. The concept of homeostasis and homeostatic regulation. Cell exchange with the environment: definition of flow and driving force, diffusion and migration in electric field. The physiology of plasma membrane, organization, function, and membrane permeability. Transmembrane transport. Free-form exchanges: diffusion in the phospholipid matrix. Migration through ion channels, voltage and chemo-dependent channels, aquaporins. Mediated transport: facilitated diffusion, primary active transport, secondary active transport. The transcellular and paracellular pathways. Vesicular transport.
-Cell excitability: membrane potential and its measurement, equilibrium potential, Donnan equilibrium. Genesis of membrane potential. Passive electrical properties of the membrane. General characters of local potentials. Action potential: general properties, ionic genesis. Propagation of the action potential. General properties of the local potential. Impulse transmission: electrical and chemical synapses, neurotransmitters and synaptic potential. General organization of the central (CNS), peripheral (SNP), somatic and autonomic nervous system (SNA). Nerve fibers and their characteristics.
-Cell communication: chemical messengers, chemical receptors, G proteins, second messenger pathways. Endocrine system: generalities on hormones and endocrine glands. Chemical nature of hormones, synthesis, release, transport and mechanism of action of hormones. Effects on target cells. Control of hormone secretion and release. Hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Function of the main endocrine glands. Hormonal regulation of blood glucose.
-Muscles and Movement: morphology and molecular organization of skeletal muscle fibers, excitation-contraction coupling, molecular events of the muscle contraction mechanism, cross-bridge cycling, mechanics and metabolism. Isotonic and isometric contractions. Shock simple and physiologic tetanus. Energetic aspects of muscular contraction. Smooth muscle.
-Heart muscle, the common myocardium function, contractility, refractoriness.
The Cardio-Circulatory System: properties of the conduction myocardial, electrical and rhythmic activity of the heart, automation. Cardiac cycle, extrinsic and intrinsic cardiac output regulation. The systemic circulation: arteries, capillaries and veins, flow and pressure in the various districts, exchange at capillary level. Mechanisms for controlling cardiac and circulatory functions.
-Gastro-intestinal function: motility, secretion, digestion and absorption. Nervous and hormonal control. Overview on the digestion of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.
-Respiratory function: mechanics of structures and physical parameters involved. Pulmonary ventilation. Gaseous exchanges in lungs and tissues. Alveolar air. Transport of respiratory gases in the blood. Genesis of respiratory rhythm. Chemical and nervous regulation of respiration. Acid-base balance.
-Renal Function: the nephron and its functions, glomerular filtration, reabsorption, tubular secretion, and excretion. Mechanisms of urine concentration. Hydro-saline and acid-base balances. Neuro-humoral control of renal functions. Endocrine functions of the kidney and blood pressure regulation.
-Sensory physiology fundamentals: general properties, sensory receptors, receptor potential, transduction and coding of sensory signals. Special somatosensory and sensory systems.
Introduction to comparing systems in the evolutionary scale

Teaching Methods

Class lectures and interactive didactics with the use of various media (PowerPoint presentations, easy to interpret diagrams, flowcharts to represent intuitively cause-effect relationships) that will be made available to students. Seminars. Guided discussion on the topics discussed and recalls to physiological conditions.
In order to meet any specific educational needs related to the epidemiological situation, teaching will be provided according to what will be established by the University.

Verification of learning

Ongoing optional trial on the topics discussed in the first half of the course with correction - discussion. Knowledge and skills acquired by the student will be verified through an oral examination or if possible, in the first call at the end of the course, a written exam, consisting of a questionnaire with multiple-choice and brief open questions, followed by an oral exam. The oral exam is a critical discussion of the written exam during which the student will have the opportunity to confirm or improve his / her vote. On subsequent dates the examination will be oral. It will be evaluated: acquired knowledge, knowledge of disciplinary language, ability to relate concepts and knowledge, exhibition skills.

Evaluation Criteria
The final mark considers several factors:
Quality of knowledge, skills possessed;
appropriateness, fairness and congruence of knowledge and skills.
Exposure mode:
a) Expressive ability;
b) Proper use of the specific language of the discipline;
c) Logical and consequential capacities in content linking;
d) Ability to connect different topics by finding common points and establishing a coherent overall design;
e) Ability to synthesize also using the proper symbolism of the discipline.
Relational and personal qualities, critical spirit and self-assessment ability.

The judgment can be:
a) No sufficient
The candidate shows insufficient preparation in most of the topics addressed during the oral exam.
b) Sufficient (from 18 to 20/30)
The candidate demonstrates little acquisition of theoretical knowledge, superficial level, many gaps. Modest communicative abilities, but still sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; logical skills and consequentiality in fitting the subjects of elementary level.
c) Moderate (21 to 23)
The candidate demonstrates a moderate acquisition of knowledge, but poorly detailed, a few gaps; communicative abilities more than sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; acceptable mastery of the scientific language, logical capacity and consequentiality in fitting the subjects of moderate complexity, good enough capacity of synthesis and acceptable ability of graphical expression.
d) Good (from 24 to 26)
The candidate demonstrates a rather broad wealth of knowledge, moderate in depth, with small gaps; satisfying expressive abilities and meaningful scientific language; dialogic ability and critical thinking well detectable; good capacity of synthesis.
e) Very good (from 27 to 29)
The candidate demonstrates a very extensive wealth of notions, well in-depth, with marginal gaps; remarkable abilities in communicating and high mastery of scientific language; remarkable dialogical ability, good competence and relevant aptitude for logical synthesis; high synthesis capabilities.
f) Excellent (30)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of very extensive and in-depth knowledge, irrelevant gaps, high capacity and high mastery in communicating through the scientific language; excellent dialogical ability and marked aptitude to make connections among different topics, excellent ability to synthesize.


FISIOLOGIA C. L, Stanfield – V edizione, Edises.
FISIOLOGIA: dalle molecole ai sistemi integrati E. Carbone, F. Cicirata e G. Aicardi - 2 edizione, Edises
FISIOLOGIA ANIMALE A. Poli, E. Fabbri, C. Agnisola, G. Calamita, G. Santovito Edises

More Information

Power Point presentations will be provided to the students

Questionnaire and social

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