Molecular and industrial biotechnology
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Paolo Foggi
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa integrata


Code A003090
Teacher Pier Luigi Gentili
  • Pier Luigi Gentili
  • 42 ore - Pier Luigi Gentili
Learning activities Caratterizzante
Area Discipline chimiche
Academic discipline CHIM/02
Type of study-unit Obbligatorio (Required)
Language of instruction Italian, English
Contents Natural Complexity and Epistemological Complexity: connections.
The living beings as examples of Complex Systems.
Principles and techniques for investigating Complex Systems.
Reference texts P. L. Gentili, “Untangling Complex Systems: A Grand Challenge for Science”, CRC Press, 2018, ISBN 9781466509429.
Educational objectives The graduate students in Industrial and Molecular Biotechnology can learn the principles of Out-of-Equilibrium Thermodynamics and Non-Linear Dynamics only in this course.
The primary purpose of this course is to give the students the conceptual and methodological bases to face the analysis of Complex Systems and particularly the phenomenon of life. The central notions that must be learned by students are:
• evolutive criteria of the biophysical and chemical systems that are out-of-equilibrium conditions;
• self-organization;
• deterministic chaos and fractal structures;
• Natural and Computational Complexity.
All these notions will allow students to:
• know the physical and chemical properties of living beings;
• have the paradigms and the computational techniques to investigate the behavior of living beings at the molecular and ecological levels;
• appreciate the limits in predicting deterministic chaos;
• characterize Fractal structures in living beings.
Prerequisites Knowledge of Equilibrium Thermodynamics.
Teaching methods The concepts proposed in this module will be taught through 42 hours of frontal lessons. During these lessons, the teacher will continuously test the learning process of students by making questions. The explanation of some subjects will be assisted by proposing videos and by computer simulations performed through software available online.
Other information For elucidations, please get in touch with the teacher.
Learning verification modality The learning of the topics of the course is tested through an oral exam with questions related to the contents carried out in the frontal part of the course. The questions will concern the principles of non-equilibrium thermodynamics and non-linear dynamics. Students will have to demonstrate that they have acquired the indispensable methodologies and principles to investigate complex systems. The oral exam will last between 30 and 40 minutes.
Students with disabilities and/or with DSA are invited to visit the page dedicated to the tools and measures envisaged and to agree in advance on what is necessary with the teacher (https://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e -dsa).
Extended program The subjects proposed are the following ones:
1) Introduction to Natural Complexity. Properties of the Complex Systems and living beings.
2) Deepened analysis of the II Law of Thermodynamics.
3) Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics. Flows and Forces. Linear and Non-Linear regimes. Entropy Production and evolution criteria for the out-of-equilibrium systems.
4) Linear analysis of the stability of the stationary states: stable and unstable stationary states, and oscillations.
5) Oscillatory biochemical reactions, chemical waves, Turing structures. Periodic Precipitations.
6) Bifurcations and deterministic Chaos.
7) Fractal structures.
8) Natural and Epistemological Complexities. Strategies to face the Complexity Challenges.
Obiettivi Agenda 2030 per lo sviluppo sostenibile The 2030 Agenda includes global challenges. To face these global challenges it is necessary to know Complex Systems. This course provides important contents and methodologies for understanding Complex Systems and therefore favors the achievement of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda.


Code GP004122
Teacher Paolo Foggi
  • Paolo Foggi
  • Marco Paolantoni (Codocenza)
  • 37 ore - Paolo Foggi
  • 5 ore (Codocenza) - Marco Paolantoni
Learning activities Caratterizzante
Area Discipline chimiche
Academic discipline CHIM/02
Type of study-unit Obbligatorio (Required)
Language of instruction Italian
Contents Spectroscopies for the determination of molecular structures of biological interest.
Reference texts Notes by the teacher
Educational objectives To provide the students an integrated vision of the technical tools for the determination of the molecular structures.
Prerequisites None
Teaching methods class lessons and experiments in the laboratory.
Other information contact the teacher
Learning verification modality oral exam
Extended program 1. Protein structure. The Ramachandran plots. Alfa-elix and beta-sheet.
2. NMR Spectroscopy. General principles. Linear H-NMR. Frequency resolved NMR and pulsed techniques.Free Induction Decay. Relaxation mechanisms.The Fourier transform.
3. Bidimensional NMR. NOESY and COSY.
4. Optical activity. Circular dichroism spectroscopy. General principles and applications. The peptide bond. Secondary structure and CD spectra.
5. Light diffusion. Molecular volume and light scattering.
6. Raman spectrosocpy. General principles. The resonace Raman technique. Its application in different spectral regions. The peptide bond, aromatic amino-acids, the heme group.
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