08068 - Applied Physiology (L-Z B)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The aim of course is to teach the knowledge and skills necessary to determine the major human physiological variables.

Course contents


Physics of electrocardiography: volume conduction, equivalent electric dipole and electric field vector. Recording techniques of cardiac electrical activity: bipolar derivations, monopolar augmented and precordial leads. Instantaneous mean vector and genesis of the waveforms in bipolar derivations. Calculation of mean cardiac vector (ventricular electrical axis).


Determination of flow-volume curves. Direct and indirect spirometry: measurement of lung volumes and capacities.

Measurement of blood pressure

Measurement of blood pressure with Riva-Rocci method.


Principles of elettroencephalography. The cortical rhythms in the different wake-sleep states.


Berne & Levy Physiology, (B.M. Koeppen and B.A. Stanton, Editors) 7th edition, Philadelphia, Mosby Elsevier, 2018 (ISBN: 978-0-323-39394-2).

Autori vari, FISIOLOGIA MEDICA vol.2 (a cura di Fiorenzo Conti), 3a Edizione, Milano Casa Editrice Edi.Ermes, 2020 (ISBN 978-88-7051-546-6)

Agnati, FISIOLOGIA CARDIOVASCOLARE, Piccin (ISBN: 978-88-299-1294-0)

Teaching methods

The Course of Applied Physiology (1CFU) consisting in 17 hours of Laboratory Practicals, either shown to large groups of students or directly performed by small groups of students.

Assessment methods

The entire Physiology Course consists of three parts. The first (Cellular Physiology) is held during the first semester, the second (Apparatus Physiology) and the third (Applied Physiology) are held during the second semester. The exam is unique and is held at the end of the second semester, but the student can take a mid-term written test with alternate-choice questions at the end of the Cellular Physiology Course. The mid-term test includes 44 questions. The final score of the test is given by the algebraic sum of the score of the correct answers (1 point), of the wrong answers (-0.6 points) and of answers not given (0 points), converted into thirtieths. The mid-term test is considered sufficient with a score of 18/30. Students who accept the grade of the mid-term test take the final oral exam only on the parts relating to the Physiology of Apparatus and Applied Physiology. During the oral exam the student is questioned on topics drawn randomly with a balanced procedure (two questions regarding Apparatus Physiology and Applied Physiology, a third question on Cellular Physiology if the mid-term test has not been taken) by different teachers for each topic covered. If the answer is considered sufficient, each question is evaluated with a variable score between 18/30 and 30/30 with honors. The achievement by the student of a coherent vision of the topics discussed in the exam combined with their critical use, the demonstration of an expressive mastery and ability to use specific biomedical language terms are evaluated with marks of excellence. The mostly mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, the ability of synthesis and analysis not completely articulated, and / or the use of a correct but not always appropriate language lead to intermediate-grade evaluations; training gaps and / or inappropriate language in a context of basic yet complete knowledge of the exam material lead to marks that do not exceed sufficiency. Training and significant knowledge gaps concerning the teaching materials offered during the course and inappropriate language are negatively evaluated. Each of the three questions weighs one third in the calculation of the final grade. Insufficient evaluation of the answer to even one of the three questions renders the test insufficient.

Teaching tools

Teaching tools used for lectures: digital Video projectors, PC, Overhead digital projector and camera. Equipment for Laboratory Practicals: Volume and Flow Spirometers; Electrocardiography machines; Blood pressure manometers; Pulse oximetry equipment; Vascular and heart ultrasound echo-doppler; Equipment for standard Electroencephalography and event related potentials assessment; Cycle-ergometer. Set of slides concerning each topic of the Course Program can be downloaded from the website https://virtuale.unibo.it by students enrolled at the University of Bologna (University institutional username and password required).

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Trazzi