37200 - Chemistry andBiochemistry I (LZ-A)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Medicine and Surgery (cod. 8415)

Learning outcomes

The main objective of this course is to provide knowledge on the following subjects:

the general characteristics of chemical reactions (stoichiometry, kinetics and spontaneous reactions);

the properties of the chemical components of the living organisms: structure and properties of simple and complex carbohydrates and lipids;

the thermodynamic aspects of biochemical processes and the basis of cellular bioenergetics;

the structural and functional properties of proteins;

the enzyme mechanism of action and kinetics; regulation of biochemical reactions rate;

the structure of nucleic acids and the description of the mechanisms involved in DNA replication, transcription and translation (protein synthesis).

Course contents

Chemical reactions. Chemical equations. Balancing chemical equations. Mole definition (gram-atomic, gram-molecular, gram-formula weight). Chemical reactions and stoichiometry.

Types of chemical reactions. Oxidation state. Redox reactions. Electrochemical cells and standard reduction potentials: electrochimical series. Nernst's equation. Spontaneity criteria for redox reactions. Standard potentials in biochemistry.

Solutions. Electrolytic and not electrolytic solutions. Expressing concentration of solutions. Colligative properties. Raoult's law. Boiling point elevation and freezing point depression. Osmotic pressure of a solution: biological importance.

Reaction kynetics: reaction rate. Effective collisions and activated complex theories. Energy diagram for a chemical reaction. Rate laws and reaction order. Reaction mechanisms: elementary and multistage reactions. Half-life period. Arrhenius equation. Catalysts.

Chemical equilibrium. Equilibrium constants. Factors influencing the chemical equilibrium. Le Chatelier's principle. Chemical equilibrium for heterogeneous systems.

Self-ionization of water and its dissociation equilibrium constant, Kw. Acid, basic and neutral solutions. The pH concept; pH scale. Ionic equilibria in aqueous solution: acids and bases. Acid-base Arrhenius theory. Acid-base Brönsted and Lowry theory. Dissociation equilibria of weak acids and bases: acid and base dissociation constants. Polyprotic acids. Hydrolysis. Buffer solutions and Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. Biological buffers. pH of ampholythe solutions. Stiochiometric calculations. Acid-base Lewis theory. pH measurements. Indicators. Acid-base titrations.

Dissociation equilibria of scarcely soluble electrolytes: solubility products. Kps-solubility relationships. Common-ion effect.

Transition metals, complexes ions.



Elements of Organic Chemistry

Electronic characteristics and hybridization of C. Molecules containing asymmetric (chiral) carbon atoms and optical activity. Structure, properties and reactivity of saturated and unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbons, alkyl halides. Structure and chemical reactivity of monofunctional compounds: alcohols, ethers, thioalcohols, amines, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives (esters, anhydrides, starches). Aromatic hydrocarbons and derivatives. Heterocyclic aromatic compounds.


K.J. Denniston, J.J. Topping, R.L. Caret; Chimica Generale, Chimica Organica, Propedeutica Biochimica; Edizione italiana, McGraw-Hill

Teaching methods

Lectures and stoichiometry exercises.

Teaching tools

Teaching material can be downloaded through "insegnamenti online"(IOL) on the page: https://iol.unibo.it/.

Office hours

See the website of Silvia Cetrullo


Good health and well-being

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.