Courses Catalogue

Basic Biochemistry I (structure And Function Of Biomolecules)

COURSE CODE: BCH 3109
COURSE CREDIT UNIT: 3
ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Nursing Sciences (Direct Entry), B.Sc
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Nursing Sciences
STATUS: Core
PROGRAMME TYPE: Undergraduate

Course Content and Outline


 Fundamentals of Biochemistry                   (1 hour)

Cellular, chemical, Physical, Genetic and Evolutionary foundations

   Cell Biology                                                   (3hours)

Cell theory, Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells, Organelles (Nucleus, Mitochondrion, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Golgi Complexes, Lysosomes),  Cytoskeleton (actins, intermediate filaments and microtubules), Fluid Mosaic Model and other models  of the cell membranes, Chemical composition of the membranes (Lipids, proteins & Carbohydrates present), Transport Mechanisms: Passive or simple diffusion, Facillitated diffusion, Active transport (Na/K ATPase system); uniport systems, co-transport systems-symport and antiport. Transport of Macromolecules: Exocytosis, Endocytosis (Phagocytosis and Pinocytosis).

  Acid-Base Balance                (4 hours)

Basic concepts: pH, Acids, Bases, Buffers, strong acids/bases, weak acids/bases,Henderson Hasselbalch Equation (derivation and applications), Buffers: Definitions, how buffers work in the body. Various buffer systems in plasma and erythrocytes: bicarbonate buffer and its link with the respiratory system, plasma proteins, hemoglobin as a blood buffer. Intracellular buffer systems; phosphate buffer and its link with the kidneys. Acid bases imbalances: Metabolic acidosis and alkalosis, Respiratory acidosis and   alkalosis; their causes, mechanism and biochemical characteristics.

  Vitamins and Minerals                                            (3 hours)

Define and classify Vitamins; dietary sources and daily requirements, The functions and deficiencies of vitamins, Chemistry and functions of coenzymes, Dietary sources of minerals, normal blood levels and daily requirements, Functions of each mineral; Na, K, P, Cl, S and Ca, Homeostasis of minerals and clinical conditions associated with their excess and deficiencies in diet.

   Enzymology                                       (4 hours)

Basic concept of catalysis, Enzyme classification, Mechanism of enzyme activity, Factors affecting enzyme activity, Importance of Km & Vmax values, Types of enzyme inhibition and importance of enzyme inhibitors in clinical medicine, Enzyme regulation - modes, mechanisms and importance in the human system, Use of enzymes in clinical diagnosis.

   Carbohydrates structure and function                   (4hours)

Introduction, function and classification of carbohydrates, Monosaccharides (Properties, Stereochemistry, Reactions, Derived monosaccharides) Disaccharides (Structure of disaccharides: maltose,sucrose, maltose, isomaltose, lactose, trehalose, Properties and reactions of disaccharides) Oligosaccharides, Polysaccharides [Homopolysaccharides: (Starch, Glycogen, Cellulose, Chitin)

Heteropolysaccharide (Pectins and hemicelluloses, Glycosaminoglycans, Proteoglycans)]

   Proteins structure and function                              (4 hours)

Amino acids (structure and classification), Peptides (Sequences and conformation: Fibrous and globular), Structural organization and function relationship of proteins e.g. Hemoglobin, myoglobin and collagen

   Nucleic acids structure and function                      (4 hours)                     

Nucleic acid bases (purines and pyrimidines), Nucleosides, nucleotides, importance of nucleotides,

Nucleic acids structure and functions (DNA and RNAs), Nucleoproteins and viruses       

    Lipids structure and function                                             (3hours)

Classification of lipids, Physical, chemical properties and functions (Simple and Complex Lipids)

        Laboratory Practical                                                            (30 hours)

General introduction: Introduce the students to the general rules and regulations guiding the use of the laboratory, pH and Buffers, Quantitative and qualitative identification of Carbohydrates, Quantitative and qualitative identification of Proteins, Quantitative and qualitative identification of Lipids, Colorimetry, Quantification of Vitamins in foods, Enzyme assays 

Mode of Delivery

  •     Lectures to introduce theoretical concept
  •     Tutorials to emphasize on the learned concepts
  •      Group discussions to encourage interaction and understanding
  •     Laboratory practical to expose the students’ practical applications  Instructional Materials and/or equipment
  •      White board Markers
  •     LCD Projectors
  •    Posters and Models
  •    Biochemistry laboratory