Cell biology and physiology

lgbio1111  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Cell biology and physiology
5.00 credits
30.0 h + 15.0 h
Main themes
This introduction to the molecular biology of the cell envisions cytology and physiology from an experimental point-of-view, to understand the structure and functions of animal cells. Nervous impulse transmission, muscular contraction, and cellular electrophysiology are considered to illustrate cell specialization and its impact on the cell structures and the functions that exist in living systems. Cellular processes that are of interest to the engineers will permit to introduce the sensors and devices used to observe and measure biological systems, including through microscopy.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 With respect to the AA referring system defined for the Master in Biomedical Engineering, the course contributes to the development, mastery and assessment of the following skill :
AA1.1, AA1.2,  AA5.1
At the end of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain the functions that take place in the cells of a living organism;
  2. Describe the structures/components of the cell and their respective role;
  3. Understand the unicity hidden behind the diversity in terms of organization, shape, and function of living organisms;
  4. Describe the basic concepts of conventional and molecular genetic;
  5. Explain cellular processes (membrane transport, bio-signalisation, extra cellular communication, nervous impulse, muscular contraction) in terms of physico-chemical and molecular interactions between cell components;
  6. Use basic methods to run cell biology experiments (cell material generation, activity measurement, interpretation);
  7. Understand the cell visualization principles;
  8. Enhance the images captured by microscopes;
  9. Implement basic image processing operations (filtering, thresholding) to detect structures of interest in cell images.
Cellular organisation
  • Cell molecules
  • Functional organisation, communication and division of cells
  • From gene to protein
  • Genetic polymorphisme and heredity
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of specialized cell functions
  • Nervous influx and muscle contraction, in relation to physiological process
  • Introduction to experimental techniques based on specialized cell properties (electrophysiology)
Introduction to cell imaging techniques: light and electron microscopes;
Digital image processing: image deconvolution, cell components segmentation, and cell structure statistical analysis.
Teaching methods
Lectures, and tutorials including exercises on genetics and heredity, as well as an introduction to experimental techniques in molecular and cellular biology.
The part devoted to microscopy will consist in 3 theoretical lectures presenting the acquisition devices (photon v. electron, fluorescence, confocal microscopy), the tools for image contrast enhancement (denoising, deconvolution), and some basic algorithms for cell images quantitative analysis.
Evaluation methods
A written exam evaluates individually the students on their understanding of the concepts and methods taught during the lecture.  Hands-on training evaluation will be part of the final note.
Un ouvrage de référence en Biologie sera recommandé aux étudiants
Les supports et documents sont disponibles sur Moodle
Teaching materials
  • Les diaporamas du cours (disponible via moodle)
  • Des documents de travail pour les travaux dirigés (moodle)
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Specialization track in Biomedical Engineering

Master [120] in Physics

Minor in Biomedical Engineering