Human physiology and basic anatomy

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course provides a full view of what the human body is capable. It is based on the connection between structure and function of the body. The course consists in the description of the main molecular mechanisms of cell physiology, the salient features of organ and system functioning, the main control systems and their reciprocal interaction in response to changes in the internal or external environment. The main objectives are: a) to understand the physiological processes, analyze their biological meaning, description, regulation and integration; b) to establish the basis for understanding the physiological adaptation process taking place due to a continuously changing environment.
This knowledge is essential for understanding the subsequent courses in biological and medical area and its application is the basis of officinal plant use for human health.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student is required to be able: a) to describe the organization of tissues and organs; b) to describe the basic and advanced physiological mechanisms of the different organs, their regulatory pattern and their interactions; c) to discuss the processes of physiological adaptation to continuously changing environment.
The students will also acquire the ability to use a correct terminology in both written and verbal forms. For this purpose, a mid-course written exam is simulated and ample space is given to questions and discussion on specific topics during the lessons.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Educational activities
Lessons will be held online (Microsoft Teams platform) with synchronous learning, as scheduled. Recorded lessons will be made available on the same platform. Information on how to access Microsoft Teams lessons and other instructions will be uploaded to the course's ARIEL website: please, consult it regularly. The course will consist of lectures, and multimedia exercises to encourage the students' participation.

Program and reference material
The program will not change. Reference material will be made available on course's ARIEL website.

Learning assessment procedures and assessment criteria
The learning assessment procedures and assessment criteria are reported in detail in "learning assessment method".
In compliance with health and social distancing rules, a written "in itinere" test on histology and cellular physiology will be held at February, as detailed in "learning assessment method". One of the January lesson will be devoted to an exam trial.
The final oral examination will be held onsite or online (through Microsoft Teams), according to the directives in force at the time of the exam.
Course syllabus
Basic characteristics and description of the epithelial, connective, muscular and nervous tissue.
General principles of Anatomy; Three-dimensional organization of the human body; Anatomical terminology; Body regions; General structure of hollow and full organs.
Homeostasis; Functional compartments of the body; Integration and coordination of physiological functions through cellular communication mechanisms. The feedback regulation.
Osmosis and osmotic pressure, oncotic pressure; Resting membrane potential; Ionic channels; Excitability; Action potential; Conducting action potential; Synapses; Neurotransmitters; receptors; Synaptic activity modulation; summation; Contraction mechanisms of the skeletal muscle cell; Motor unit; Tetanic contraction; Control mechanisms of skeletal muscle contraction; Smooth muscle contraction characteristics.
The central nervous system: General organization; Skull and vertebrae; The meninges; The blood-brain barrier.The peripheral nervous system: General organization; The somatic nervous system; The autonomic nervous system.Posture and movement control, motor reflexes. Sensory receptors. Transduction mechanisms. Special senses.
General organization. Neuroendocrinology: the pituitary portal system, hypothalamic, neurohypophyseal and adenohypophyseal hormones. The endocrine "axes"
General characteristics, structure, cell types, vascularization and innervation of the skin. The skin appendages. Main physiological functions of the skin.
Generalities of the osteo-arthro-muscular system
Heart: Macroscopic anatomy of the heart. Small and large club. Electrical activity of the heart. Action potential of autorhythmic cells, conduction tissue, action potential of contractile cells. Mechanical activity of the heart. Cardiac cycle, systolic and cardiac output. Regulation of cardiac activity.Circle: Macroscopic anatomy of blood vessels. Circulatory dynamics principles. Functions of the arterial, venous and capillary districts. Regulatory mechanisms of the cardiovascular system in maintaining blood flow and blood pressure. The lymphatic system. Blood and hemostasis.
Anatomical organization of the airways and lungs. Respiratory muscle.Respiratory mechanics. Respiratory volumes. Gas exchange at the level of the pulmonary alveoli. Hemoglobin. Transport of O2 and CO2. Breathing control. Local and central control of respiratory activity: role of pH, CO2 and oxygen. The bulbar centers of respiration control.
Macroscopic organization of kidney, ureters, bladder and urethra. Organization of the nephron. Principles of glomerular filtration, tubular reabsorption, excretion. Plasma clearance. Renal glucose threshold. Water / saline homeostasis and renal control.
Anatomical organization of the digestive tract, peritoneum. Gastrointestinal tract secretions. Stomach, pancreas and liver functions in digestive processes. The hepatic portal system. Bile formation. Elements of digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.
Prerequisites for admission
There are no prerequisites for taking the examination, but a good knowledge of biology and the basic principles of general and inorganic chemistry is highly recommended.
Teaching methods
Lectures. Discussion on topics proposed by the students in the classroom. Written and/or oral examination.
Teaching Resources
Notes and schemes taken from the lessons, on the Ariel website of the course (not exhaustive).
"Human physiology, an integrated approach". D.U. Silverthorn, Pearson Publishing House.
"Human anatomy". Martini, Tallitsch, Pearson Publishing House.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam for attending students is divided into two parts. The first part takes place in February in written form (with open and multiple choice questions). It is focused on the part of histology and cellular physiology. The second part is an oral interview and focuses on different physiological systems. In general, the oral exam consists of three questions: the first concerning a topic that can be chosen by the student himself, the subsequent ones concerning two different apparatuses. The presentation and organization of the first topic will allow to verify the ability to general comprehension of the subject, as well as the communication skills. The other questions will serve to verify the degree of the study, and the ability to use terminology and language appropriate to the subject. For non-attending students the exam is unique and oral. In this case four questions are asked. The first question is on a topic chosen by the candidate himself in the field of histology. The second is inherent in cell physiology; the last two are focused on two distinct systems.
The evaluation is released at the end of the test and submitted for acceptance by the candidate. The assessment includes a range of: minimum marks ​​(18-23/30) if sufficient preparation is demonstrated; intermediate marks ​​(24-27/30) if the student shows a good knowledge of all the topics covered in the exam; high marks ​​(28-30/30) if the student shows an excellent knowledge of all the topics covered in the exam and excellent communication skills. The student is awarded with the highest mark (30 lode) if he will demonstrate ability to deepen the topics. For attending students, the final mark will be calculated using the weighted average (4 credits for the written and 5 credits for the oral) of the two marks obtained.
BIO/09 - PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 9
Lessons: 72 hours
Professor: Galbiati Mariarita
monday - friday 8.30-17.30 by appointment
via Balzaretti, 9 piano 4 stanza 5020