Biology and Histology - LEB


Biomedical Engineering

Curricular Unit (UC)

Biology and Histology

Mandatory  x
Scientific Area BS Category  

Course category: B - Basic; C - Core Engineering; E - Specialization; P - Complementary.

Year: 2nd Semester: 1st ECTS: 4.5 Total Hours: 120
Contact Hours T: 45 TP: 22.5 PL: S: OT:3
Professor in charge


T - Lectures; TP - Theory and practice; PL - Lab Work; S - Seminar; OT - Tutorial Guidance.

  • Learning outcomes of the curricular unit

    Once approved in this curricular unit students should be able to:

    Learn concepts of cytology in order to understand cell structure and organization.

    Recognize the importance of biological membranes in cell communication and familiarize with signal transduction pathways.

    Understand the role of genes and gene expression control in cell activity, division control and differentiation. 

    Be familiar with cell cycle and identify mitosis and meiosis.

    Gain knowledge of mechanisms of apoptosis regulation and in cancer molecular mechanisms.

    Identify the phases of vertebrate embryo development. 

    Gain concepts of embryonic stem cells differentiation.

    Have knowledge of the types of animal tissues: epithelial, connective, muscle and nervous.

    With the acquired knowledge, understand cell functioning, how cells are generated, differentiated and organized into tissues.


  • Syllabus

    The cell structure. Biological membranes: structure, transport across membranes and cell to cell communication. Cell signalling pathways.

    The cytoplasm and cell organelles. The communication between cell compartments, exocytosis and endocytosis. .

    The cell nucleus: genome organization. Regulation of gene expression.

    Cell cycle: phases, checkpoints and control. Neoplasic cell and apoptotic cell. The mitosis and meiosis.

    Molecular mechanisms of cell growth. Fertilization and embryogenesis: human embryo development stages. Embryogenic stem cell and cell differentiation.  

    The basic tissues: epithelial, connective, muscle and nervous. The tissue homeostasis and regeneration

  • Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

    The Biology and Histology syllabus includes the fundamental concepts of cell and molecular biology in Chapter 1 to 3, in order to introduce the basic mechanisms of cell functions and communication (objective 1 and 2) with the objective to understand cell control at the molecular level according to the described at objective 3.

    In Chapter 4 and 5 fundamental concepts of cell genesis are provided. Processes of mitosis and meiosis (objective 4) are described and also fertilization and embryogenesis (objective 6) envisaging the knowledge of the cell differentiation as described in objective 5 and 7.

    In Chapter 6 there are described the basic tissues into which the diversity of the animal cells are organized (objective 8).

    The contents which are transmitted will provide students the knowledge of signal integration and gene control which allow the cells to be part of a biological system in homeostasis (objective 9).

    The contents are transmitted in lectures integrated with laboratory experiences in which students can perform experiments in the basis of the lectures contents.

  • Teaching methodologies (including evaluation

    Teaching methodologies:

    Theoretical and laboratory classes with 63 contact hours in one semester. The total student working hours is 140. There are open hours (OT) of attendance for doubts clarification.

    The student can perform an evaluation during the semester, solving two written tests, or a final exam. In these two types of evaluation, the result of the laboratorial evaluation (L) contributes with 25% for the final mark and must be at least 7.5.

    Continuous evaluation:

    Two tests (T1, T2): T1 >= 7.5,  T2 >= 7.5

    Laboratorial evaluation (L): L>=7.5

     NF = 0.75*(T1+T2/2)+0.25*L

    Approval: NF>=9.5

    Final exam evaluation:

    Final Exam (EF): EF>=9.5

    Laboratorial evaluation (L): L>=7.5

    NF =0.75*EF+0.25*L

    Approval: NF>=9.5

    Final grade is rounded to units. By defect, beneath five tenths, per excess, from five tenths.

  • Demonstration of the coherence between the teaching methodologies and the learning outcomes

    Theoretical classes use as support element the syllabus data-show projection. In the lectures classes examples are presented. Theoretical classes are supported by the laboratory class leading to the knowledge of the practical application or of the analytic technique used for understanding the theoretical concept.

    In laboratory, the experimental activities improve the learning of the major concepts.

    The attendance hours complement individual study clarifying the issues where questions arise. The continuous assessment contributes to a better monitoring of the topics by the students. Students that are not approved in the continuous assessment can make evaluation by Final exam. 

  • / Main Bibliography

    Lodish H., Berk A., Kaiser C.A., Krieger M., Bretscher A., Ploegh H., Amon A., Martin K. C. Molecular Cell Biology, 8th ed., W.H. Freeman & Co, 2016.

    Alberts B., Johnson A., Lewis J., Raff M., Roberts K., Walter P., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th ed., Garland Science, 2002.

    Voet D., Voet J.G., Biochemistry, 2nd ed., Wiley, 1995.

    Junqueira LC., Basic Histology - Text and Atlas, Mescher A., 13rd ed., McGraw Hill Lange, 2013.

    Gilbert SF., Developmental Biology, 10th ed, Sinauer Associates, 2014