- Cellular physiology
Homeostasis. Biophysics of the cell membrane (permeability and transport). Membrane potentials: resting, electrotonic, action potentials. Propagation of potentials. The synapses.
The nervous system: characteristics and functional organization - somatic and visceral systems.
Somatic sensitivity. Sensory receptors (classification and functional properties), stimulus decoding, propagation and integration of sensory information. Cortical somatotopic representation, sensation and perception. Tactile sensitivity; pain sensitivity; thermal sensitivity (hypothalamic regulation of body temperature); proprioceptive sensitivity.
Specific senses. The chemical senses: taste and smell. Hearing (organ of Corti and sound decoding). The vestibular apparatus. The sight (retina, cones and rods and signal transduction, visual cortex).
Motor control. Spinal reflexes (stretch, Golgi tendon, flexion and cross extension reflexes). Spinal integration and superior control of reflexes. Voluntary motor control: the motor areas of the cerebral cortex and motor programs. Basal ganglia: organization and functional role. The cerebellum: functional anatomy and cerebellum control of movements. Rhythmic movements: the walking. Posture control and muscle tone.
Physiology of skeletal muscle (ultrastructure and excitation-contraction coupling, muscle metabolism). Neuromuscular synapses and motor units (classification, functional properties and recruitment). Length-tension relationship in the sarcomere. Muscle single twitch and tetanus responses. Isometric, isotonic, concentric and eccentric contraction.
Learning and memory: neuronal areas, mechanisms, neurobiological bases of short and long-term memory. Associative or conditioned learning.
- Endocrine system
Endocrine function: the hypothalamic-hypophysis-target axis.
The control of body metabolism.
Homeostasis of calcium and phosphate (parathormone, calcitonin and Vit D).
- Cardiovascular system
Blood: composition and function; erythropoiesis, coagulation and haemostasis.
The common myocardium and the specific myocardium. The electrical activity of the heart: cardiac pacemakers and conduction system. ECG. Mechanical features of the heart: the cardiac cycle.
Structure and function of vessels, visco-elastic behavior, arterial pulse, blood pressure, blood volume, flow and resistance. Microcirculation and interstitial plasma-liquid exchanges. The laws of hydrostatics and hemodynamics. Control of cardiac output and systemic blood pressure.
- Respiratory System
Structure and function of the respiratory system. Respiratory mechanics. Ventilation-perfusion ratio. Respiratory centers and breathing control (nervous, chemoceptive and mechanoceptive). Respiratory indexes: lung volumes and capacity. Alveolar exchanges and transport of gases in the blood.
- The kidney
The nephron. Filtration, re-absorption, secretion and excretion processes. The functions of the kidney (endocrine, control in hydro-saline and acid-base balance).
- The gastrointestinal system.
Nervous and hormonal control of gastrointestinal functions. Digestion and absorption of the main nutrients. Functions of the exocrine pancreas, gallbladder and liver.
- Special part
Facial sensitivity: tactile, thermal and painful. Anatomo-functional organization of the trigeminal system. The pulpodentinal complex, the dental pulp: function of the pulp nerves and nociceptive response. Salivary glands: innervation and stimulus to secretion. Mastication: the muscles and the mechanics of mastication. Electromyography (EMG) of the mastication muscles. Occlusion and resting position of the mandible. Reflexes of mastication muscles. The swallowing.