Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course will provide advanced information needed to understand the mechanisms underlying the main physiologic functions at cell, tissue and organismic levels in the human body. The availability of bibliographic resources will be used to develop capability of making judgements, communication and learning skills.
Basic knowledge of General Physiology, Histology, and Human anatomy are required.
Course contents summary
1) Introduction to physiology.
2) The cardiovascular system:
- The heart: electrical activity of the heart; the heart as a pump; regulation of the cardiac activity.
- The circulation: the blood flow; control of blood pressure; regulation of the heart and vasculature; lymphatic system.
- Examples of evaluation techniques of the cardiac function from the organ to the single cell.
3) The blood (highlights).
4) Respiratory mechanics and gas exchange and transport.
5) The renal system.
6) Digestive system.
1) INTRODUCTIO TO PHYSIOLOGY:
- Definition of physiology; the human body systems; homeostasis definition; control systems and homeostasis.
2) THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM:
- GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS.
- The membrane potential; Nernst equation; Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equation.
- THE HEART - ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY: cardiac action potential (fast response and
slow response); refractoriness;
conduction of cardiac fibers;
electrical conduction in the heart; the law of the “dominance of the most frequent rhythm”; electrocardiogram; arrhythmias
- THE HEART AS A PUMP: cardiac muscle cells; sliding filament theory; contraction cycle; contraction-excitation coupling; cardiac cycle;
pressure-volume diagram; Wiggers diagram.
- REGULATION of THE CARDIAC ACTIVITY: stroke volume and cardiac output;
regulation of cardiac activity (intrinsic and extrinsic control).
- THE CIRCULATION – the blood flow and the control of the blood pressure: Pressure, volume, flow, and resistance; physics of moving fluids; functional model of the
cardiovascular system; blood vessels (elasticity vessels, resistance vessels, and capacity vessels); blood
pressure; arteriolar regulation of the district blood flow (local, nervous, and hormonal control); blood distribution to the tissues.
- REGULATION of THE HEART and VASCULATURE.
- The CAPILLARIES: organization, pressure, flow speed and exchanges.
- LYMPHATIC SYSTEM: general
characteristics, functions, and lymph.
- EXAMPLES of techniques to evaluate the cardiac function, from the organ to the single cell.
3) THE BLOOD (highlights):
- Plasma and formed elements.
- Production of the formed elements of blood.
- Haemostasis and coagulation.
4) THE RESPIRATORY MECHANICS and GAS EXCHANGE AND TRANSPORT:
- The respiratory system: function and anatomy.
- The pulmonary circulation;
- Gas laws.
- Pulmonary ventilation: lung volumes and capacities; respiratory mechanics; lung
pressures; surfactant; the
pulmonary air flow and airway
- Gas exchange and transport:
pulmonary and tissue gas exchange; gas transport in the blood.
- Control of respiration.
5) THE RENALl SYSTEM:
Elements of renal function; solute and water transport along the nephron: tubular function; control of body fluid osmolality and volume; potassium, calcium, and phosphate homeostasis; role of the kidneys in the regulation of acid-base balance.
6) DIGESTIVE SYSTEM:
- Introduction: general morpho-functional aspects.
- Secretions: salivary, gastric, enteric, pancreatic, and bile.
- Digestion and absorption of
carbohydrates, protein, lipids, vitamins, ions and water.
- Functions of the liver.
- Control of the digestive system.
Silverthorn. Fisiologia umana. Un approccio integrato. Pearson.
Koeppen, Stanton. Fisiologia. Berne & Levy. CEA
Oral interactive lessons, supported by iconographic material that will be made availble to the students. Lessons will present the main conceptual frame of each subject, summoning questions or doubts from the audience and indicating bibliographic references for in-depth study of the different topics.
Assessment methods and criteria
The final evaluation will be carried out by means of a written test lasting 2 hours. The written test will consist of five questions of different degree of difficulty and complexity (2 questions on definite topics and 3 tests (multiple choice or explanation of specific definitions)). To pass the exam the student must achieve a sufficient evaluation in the two open questions.
The final evaluation will be made on the basis of the criteria described below:
A. Excellent knowledge and understanding of the topic and mastery of specific terminology. Excellent capacity to apply knowledge. Vote in thirties: 30/30 with praise.
B. Good knowledge and understanding of the subject. Good ability to apply knowledge. Mastery of terminology. Vote in thirties: 27-29.
C. Discreet knowledge and understanding of the subject. Capacity to apply knowledge and discreet mastery of specific terminology. Vote thirties: 24-26.
D. Knowledge and understanding of the subject are fully sufficient. Discreet capacity to apply knowledge. Vote in thirties: 21-23.
E. Barely sufficient knowledge and understanding of the argument with shortcomings. Low capacity of application of knowledge and poor mastery of terminology. Vote thirties: 18-20