Academic Year 2021/2022 - 1° Year - Curriculum Chimica Biomolecolare
Teaching Staff: Giuseppe SPOTO
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: CHIM/01 - Analytical chemistry
Taught classes: 42 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The aim is to introduce some of the most advanced analytical methodologies today available to study biomolecular systems. The student understands what possibilities are offered by some of the most advanced analytical techniques in studying complex biomolecular systems.

Knowledge and understanding:

Fundamentals of mass spectrometry, microscopy and biosensing advanced techniques. Use of the presented analytical techniques for the study of biomolecular systems.

Knowledge and applied understanding skills:

Capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to understand complex questions related to the topics covered in the course.

Autonomy of judgment:

Ability to interpret experimental data based on acquired knowledge.

Communication skills -

Acquire language properties and an adequate ability to present the topics covered in the course

Ability to learn

Develop the necessary skills to undertake more advanced studies.

Course Structure


Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, changes with respect to previous statements may be introduced, in line with the outlined syllabus.

According to safety requirements linked to the pandemic, learning assessment may also be carried out online.

Detailed Course Content


General properties. Biological receptors. Immobilization procedures: physical trapping, covalent interactions. Non specific interactions of biomolecular system with solid surfaces. Optical trasducers: Absorption, luminescence, optical fiber, surface plasmon resonance. Electrochemical trasducers. Piezoelectric trasducers.



Optical microscopy: resolution, numerical aperture, Rayleigh and Sparrow criteria, magnification, depth field, confocal microscopy, fluorescence microscopy.

Electronic microscopy: De Broglie, electron-matter interactions, secondary electrons, backscattered electrons, Auger electrons.

Scanning electron microscopy: secondary and backscattered electron images. Electron sources.

Transmission electron microscopy: image formation.

Probe microscopies: Atomic force microscopy: piezoelectric trasducers, tip and cantilever. Forces involved, operating modes. Applications in the study of biomolecular systems.


Mass Spectrometry

Ionic sources: EI, CI, FD, FAB. SIMS, LD-MS, MALDI, ESI. Mass analyzers: magnetic sector, quadrupole, time-of-flight, ICR-MS, ion trap: Mathieu equation, SIM, tandem mass spectrometry. Ion generation in MALDI sources. Hyphenated methods. Analysis of protein. Peptide mass mapping and algorithms. Protein sequencing.

Textbook Information


-Skoog, Holler, Nieman, “Principles of Instrumental Analysis”, Saunders College publishing.

-Papers the professor will provide