Learning outcomes of the course unit
The student will have to demonstrate knowledge and understanding (1st Dublin descriptor) of the basic principles of Physiology. The course aims to provide students with a good understanding of:
1. Mechanisms for basic operation of the human body under physiological conditions,
2. Homeostatic mechanisms that allow adjusting and adapting the activity of organs and systems to the demands of the environment. The student shall be able to learn the principles of Physiology (5th Dublin descriptor), apply the acquired knowledge to the human body (2nd Dublin descriptor), must be able to independently assess simple physiological problems (3rd Dublin descriptor), and be able to communicate them (4th Dublin descriptor).
Knowledge of human anatomy, chemistry and physics as the lessons learned in previous courses
Course contents summary
The first part of the course covers cell physiology.
The second part of the course is devoted to the organ and system physiology.
The third part of the course is devoted to integrative physiology, with particular reference to the nervous system.
Biological membranes. Ion channels. Nernst equation. Membrane potential. Action potential. Conduction of potential. Synapses and neurotransmitters. Neuromodulators. Synaptic circuits. Skeletal muscle. Contraction. Stress / length and speed / load curves.
Smooth muscle. Heart: Cardiac action potentials. Electrocardiogram. Cardiac mechanics. Regulation of cardiac contraction. Blood pressure. Blood. Respiratory mechanics. Compliance. Capillary exchanges. Nervous control of breathing. Kidney. Filtration, absorption and secretion. Renal clearance. Regulation of pH and electrolyte balance. GI tract: motility, secretion, digestion and absorption. Endocrinology. Neurophysiology Sensory Systems: Vision. Hearing. Somatosensory systems. Pain perception and modulation. Motor control. Reflexes. Autonomic nervous system: sympathetic and parasympathetic. Hypothalamus and pituitary gland
Circulation and blood pressure. Smooth muscle. Lymphatic system. Special circulatory districts. Respiratory function. Kidney.
GI tract and its functions. Hormones.
Nerve cell functions. Membrane potential. Synapses. Reflexes. Sensory systems. Sleep. Homeostasis. Autonomous nervous system. Hypothalamus-hypophysis.
Skeletal muscle. Contraction. Stress / length and speed / load curves. Smooth muscle.
Heart: Cardiac action potentials. Electrocardiogram. Cardiac mechanics. Regulation of cardiac contraction. Blood pressure. Blood.
Respiratory mechanics. Compliance. Capillary exchanges. Nervous control of breathing.
Kidney. Filtration, absorption and secretion. Renal clearance.
Regulation of pH and electrolyte balance.
Gastroenteric system: motility, secretion and absorption.
Physiology the Nervous System
Functional properties of nervous cells: ionic channels, resting membrane potential and action potential. Mechanisms of synaptic transmission: neurotransmitters and receptors. Neuromuscular synapse. Spinal reflex: stretch reflex and flexor reflex. Sensory systems. Sensory transduction. Somatic system: anatomic and functional organization. Auditory function. Pain. Fundamental organization of Cerebral cortex. Somatic cortices. Fundamental concepts in visual physiology. Motor systems. Basal ganglia. The primary motor cortex. Cortical pathways to motor neurons. Neurophysiology of Sleep.Functional organization of the Autonomic nervous System. Sympathetic Division, Parasympathetic Division and the Enteric Division. Autonomic reflex. Functional organization of the Hypothalamus. Neuroendocrine System: Brain-pituitary-Organ Axes
The slides of the lectures are an integral part of the course material and are uploaded by the teacher on the Elly platform at the end of each lecture. The slides provided by the teacher can be integrated with the texts indicated below:
-Elementi di Fisiologia Umana, Edi-Ermes editore
di Bossi - Cesca - Curia - Mapelli - Veronesi - 2019
-Monticelli, “Fisiologia”. CEA.
-Berne-Levy, “Fisiologia”. CEA
Lectures will be held on-site in compliance with safety standards, provided that further instructions on the ongoing health emergency are not implemented. Supporting material will be available on the specific, student-reserved platform (Elly) and will include slide presentations, audio-video aids or video-recording of the lectures. In the event that the health emergency will prevent the conduct of teaching in attendance, lectures will take place in telepresence through the use of the platforms Teams and Elly. In particular, lessons will be conducted in both synchronous mode (connecting to the Teams platform) and asynchronous (uploaded on the Elly page of the course). During the lessons in synchronous (direct) mode, mainly frontal moments will alternate with interactive moments with the students. During the lessons, the principles of physiology will be explained, and the main topics will be addressed with supporting digital audio/video material. During the lesson the students will be stimulated by the teacher to ask questions and comments both in synchronous mode (via microphone or chat) and in asynchronous mode via Elly.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the course includes a written test by means of questions concerning the contents of the course to verify the knowledge acquired on the issues addressed during the lectures. It will be established if the student has reached the objective of knowledge and understanding of the contents and if he/she has reached the objective of applying the acquired knowledge. The written test, at the end of the course, consists of 30 questions with dichotomous True/False answers. One point will be awarded for each correct answer; there are no penalties for incorrect answers. The minimum threshold for passing the test is 18 points, corresponding to 18/30. Test results are published on the Esse3 portal. Written test will be held on-site in compliance with safety standards, provided that further instructions on the ongoing health emergency are not implemented. In the event that the health emergency will prevent the conduct of teaching in attendance, tests will take place in telepresence trough the Teams platform and it will be necessary, throughout the test, keep on the audio/ video connections. Before each test, after the expiring of the deadline for registration, all students will receive an email by Essetre, with the necessary instructions for connecting to the link of Teams. For any clarification students could contact Prof. Maria Alessandra Umilta’ by email: email@example.com