BIOLOGICAL PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim of the course is to provide the students, by means of models, peculiarity of physical chemistry, with the thermodynamic concepts for understanding the energy interconversion in biological systems, the interaction of ligands with biological macromolecules and biological transport phenomena. There will be also studied colloid chemistry, foundation of health products, and will be provided the chemical-physical bases and methodologies for studying, designing and developing non viral vectors, in particular new cationic surfactants that could be used for gene delivery.
Course contents summary
- Thermodynamics and Biochemistry: heat, work and energy - first law of thermodynamics. Molecular interpretation of thermodynamic quantities. Entropy, free energy and equilibrium – Second law of thermodynamics. Experimental Thermochemistry. Calorimetry. An outline of Statistical Thermodynamics.
- Changes of state: physical transformations of pure substances. Phase diagrams. Gibbs phase rule.
- Macromolecules in solution: thermodynamics and equilibria. Partial molar quantities, the chemical potential, ideal and non-ideal solutions. Application of the chemical potential to membrane equilibria: membrane equilibria, dialysis equilibrium, osmotic pressure, membrane potential.
- Chemical equilibria involving macromolecules: chemical equilibrium, thermodynamics of chemical reactions in solution. Interaction between macromolecules, binding equilibria, binding curves, cooperativity.
- Bioenergetics: molecules through membranes: transport modes, endoergonic and exoergonic reaction, coupled reactions.
- Intermolecular forces: van der Waals forces, hydrogen bond, hydrophobic interactions.
- Colloid Chemistry: definition and classification, surface tension, DLVO theory, structure and classification of surfactants, micelle and liposome.
- Non-viral vectors for gene therapy: non-viral methods for gene transfection. New non-viral vectors for gene therapy: cationic surfactants
- K.E. Van Holde, W. C. Johnson, P.S. Ho Principles of Physical Biochemistry, Pearson Prentice Hall
- P. Atkins, J. De Paula, Chimica Fisica Biologica 1, Zanichelli, Bologna
- P. Atkins, J. De Paula, Elememti di Chimica Fisica, Zanichelli, Bologna
- P. Atkins, J. De Paula, Chimica Fisica, Zanichelli, Bologna.
- David G. Nicholls Bioenergetics Academic press, inc.
- Scientific reviews on specific topics
Assessment methods and criteria
During teaching activity the students can take two written "in itinere" tests, or, alternatively, an oral examination on the whole syllabus during normal examination sessions