10587 - Bioinorganic Chemistry

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Simona Fermani

  • Learning modules Silvia Panzavolta (Modulo 2)
    Simona Fermani (Modulo 1)

  • Credits 4

  • SSD CHIM/03

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Chemistry (cod. 9072)

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student is able to recognize the chemical principles underlying the biological chemistry of the elements, identify the processes of uptake, transport and regulation concerning metals and the way they can be exploited for applications. In addition, he will recognize the biological function of a metal and relate it to the structural properties of the macromolecule where it is inserted.

Course contents

Course program

MODULE 1 (Prof.ssa Fermani)

• Structure and function of metalloproteins and metalloenzymes:
- Biochemistry of Fe
- Biochemistry of Zn
- Biochemistry of Cu

• Biological role of I and II group ions:
- Mode of transport of essential ions (Na+ / K+)
- Na+/K+ pump

MODULE 2 (Prof.ssa Panzavolta)

  • Biological role of calcium:
    - Bioavailability and functions
    - Bioavailability in food
    - Role as an activator of cellular processes, in the contraction of muscles and in biomineralization processes
    - Biomineralization in vertebrates: bone tissue formation.
  • Biotoxicity of some metals
  • Organometallic compounds used as drugs:
    - Inorganic compounds with antibacterial activity
    - Gold-containing Drugs Used in the Therapy of Rheumatoid Arthritis


Slide and teaching material is made available in the Virtuale platform.

Suggested books for details:

1) Principles of Bioinorganic Chemistry, S.J. Lippard, J. M. Berg
University Science Book (1994).
2) Bioinorganic Chemistry, Bertini, Gray, Lippard, Valentine
University Science Book (1994).
3) Inorganic Biochemistry- An introduction, J.A. Cowan
Wiley-VCH (1997

Teaching methods

Classroom lectures will be given

Assessment methods

An oral exam will evaluate the students ability on theoretical and practical knowledge in the course subjects (both modules).

Teaching tools

Videoprojector and PC. Power point presentations used during the lessons and any research material will be provided to the students in electronic format.

Office hours

See the website of Simona Fermani

See the website of Silvia Panzavolta