97313 - Elements of Cell Physiology and Introduction to Laboratory Activities

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Chiara Bernardini (Modulo 1) Augusta Zannoni (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Animal Biotechnology (cod. 8522)

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at providing students with the required knowledge of basic cell function and with theoretical/practical skills to work in a biotechnology Lab.

Course contents

The course is aimed at providing students with the required knowledge of basic cell function and with teoric/practical skills to work in a biotechnology lab understanding the consequences of each activity in terms of reproducibility of the experimental results.The course aims at strengthening the basic concepts in cell physiology and at providing students with knowledge and practical skills to perform lab activities. The course includes frontal lessons and lab activities. To enter laboratories students should wear lab coats. Whenever required, individual protection devices, such as disposable gloves, will be provided before starting lab activities. The practical activities will be carried out by dividing the students into 2 groups (A-L; M-Z) to reduce the number of students in the lab.

The course aimed to provide the student:

eukaryotic cell structure, function and what are the basic components,structure; function of biomolecules; the principle of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

The practical activities aimed to provide the student:

acquire competences about to behave in safe way in a laboratory; how to prepare acqueus solutions (including the necessary calculations); how to use the basic instruments of a biology lab, such as micropipettes, centrifuges, spectrophotometer, microscopes, spectrophotometer; thermocycler, electrophoretic cells); how to carry out simple experiments on osmosis,  cell counting, extraction and quantification of DNA, PCR reactions, electrophoresis of nucleic acids.


As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 online, while Module 3 on health and safety is to be attended in class. Information about Module 3 attendance schedule is available on the website of your degree programme



Lesson slides will be available for students.

 Any book of cell biology will be usefull for further study:

Alberts et al -L’essenziale di Biologia molecolare della cellula- ed. Zanichelli.

Sadava et al Biologia 1. La cellula - Ed Zanichelli

George Plopper - Principi di Biologia della cellula - Ed Zanichelli

Gerald Karp - Biologia Cellulare e Molecolare - Ed EdiSES

Teaching methods

Class lessons in presence will be associated with practical activities in laboratory.

Assessment methods

The knowledge will be verified by means of a written test in comprising a total of 30 questions relating to both the face-to-face and laboratory part. The final assessment will consist of a grade in thirtieths with 1 point awarded for each correct answer and 0.5 points deducted for each incorrect answer.


Teaching tools

Teaching slides

Demonstrative video

Laboratory materials for practical teaching

Office hours

See the website of Chiara Bernardini

See the website of Augusta Zannoni


Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

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