Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course has as its formative objective to provide a basic knowledge in general chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry, to enable the students to understand the chemical bases of life, the structural and functional principles of molecules of biological interest; the metabolic pathways, their connexions and regulations.
Course contents summary
I) FUNDAMENTALS OF CHEMISTRY
ATOMS AND PERIODIC TABLE : The subatomic particles, protons, electrons, and neutrons. Atomic number and atomic weight. Isotopes. Atomic orbitals and their energy levels. Electron configurations of the first 20 elements. Periodic properties of the elements, periodic table and electron configurations.
CHEMICAL BONDING AND CHEMICAL REACTIONS : Electronegativity . Ionic and covalent bonds. Valence and oxidation number. Formulas and nomenclature of inorganic compounds of biological interest. Molecules polarity and intermolecular attractions:hydrogen bonding, dipole.dipole, ion-dipole and hydrophobic interactions.
The law of mass and charge conservation. The stoichiometry of reactions. Bond energy. Energy changes in chemical reactions: enthalpy. Spontaneity of chemical changes, entropy and free energy.
SOLUTIONS : Water as a solvent. Electrolytes and non electrolytes. Strong and weak electrolytes. Expressions of concentration and stoichiometry. Dilution. Osmotic pressure. Acids and bases. The pH concept. Buffers and their physiological role.
FOUNDATIONS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY : Carbon compounds. Functional groups of biological interest. Structural formulas of organic molecules. Isomerism. Organic reactions with biochemical relevance. Cyclic compounds and aromatic compounds.
MACROMOLECULES: amminoacids and peptidic bond. Concepts on 3D proteins structures and proteins functions. Enzymes, coenzymes and cofactors. Monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. Lipids and lipo-soluble vitamins. Phospholipids and biological membranes. An outline on digestion of nutrients.
GENERAL ASPECTS OF CELLULAR METABOLISM : ATP as the energy carrier of the cell. Cellular respiration and carbohydrate metabolism. Basic concepts on triglycerides metabolism.
Massimo Stefani e Niccolò Taddei
Chimica, biochimica e biologia applicata
Frontal lessons with slides.
Evaluation: oral exam or written tests.