Facoltà di Ingegneria - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Models and Control of Biological Systems
Francesco Di Nardo

Seat Ingegneria
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 9
Hours 72
Period II
Language ENG


Learning outcomes
The course will allow: to know and understand and apply advanced methods for the description and interpretation of the functioning of the physiological systems of control using mathematical models. Case studies will address the hormonal secretion and the regulation of glycemia
This teaching is characterizing for the Bioengineering sector (ING-INF / 06) and will provide knowledge about advanced methods for the description and interpretation of physiological control systems operation by means of mathematical models, in particular hormone secretion and the regulation of blood glucose.
The attempt of solving a problem will be made in groups and will provide a report; it will be useful to help the student in improving the overall autonomy in judgement, the ability in communication, the capability in learning and in drawing conclusions.

Linear and non-linear compartmental models and control. Structural identification of linear mathematical models: transfer-matrix method. Structural identification of non-linear mathematical models: Taylor series expansion method. Parameter estimation: least-squares and maximum likelihood methods. Design and analysis of identification experiments. Models of glucose kinetics and of C-peptide secretion and kinetics. Model-based characterization of glucose regulation system by indexes of insulin sensitivity and beta-cell responsivity. Relationship between insulin action and secretion. Model-based assessment of hepatic insulin degradation. Applications in clinical and experimental settings. Computer exercises: use of SAAM II Software System for interpretation of insulinemia and glycemia data by models of glucose kinetics.

Development of the examination
The assessment of student learning develops through two tests: a written test, which consists in solving exercises and theoretical questions about the topics covered in the course, to be completed in two hours; an oral exam which is divided into two parts: 1) the presentation of a paper prepared by the student on the basis of laboratory scheduled for the course; 2) an optional discussion on topics covered in the course. The written test is preparatory for the oral exam. Students must obtain at least a pass mark in the written test to access the oral exam. The oral exam must be performed in the same call of the written test. In case of failure of the oral exam, the student will have to repeat the written test.

To successfully pass the assessment of learning, the student must demonstrate, through the trials described above, of knowing advanced model-based methods for the description and interpretation of the functioning of the physiological control systems. The student must also demonstrate that they are able to apply these methodologies in order to achieve the optimal assessment of the parameters characterizing the considered physiological system and to discuss the results, through the submission of the project mentioned above.

Attribution of the final mark out of thirty

In order to achieve a positive outcome of the overall evaluation, the student must achieve at least a pass mark, amounting to eighteen points in both the written test and in the the Part 2 of the oral test (optional discussion on topics covered in the course) and must submit their paper focused on laboratory experience (part 1 of the oral examination) The vote out of thirty is given by: the average between the marks achieved in the written test (± 3 points achieved in the Part 1 of the oral examination) and the marks achieved in the Part 2 of the oral exam. Exam is passed cum laude when students exceed the total vote of 30/30.

Recommended reading
Cobelli C., Carson E. Introduction to Modelling in Physiology and Medicine, Elsevier, 2008. ISBN:978-0-12-160240-6 Carson E., Cobelli C. and Finkelstein L. The mathematical modelling of metabolic and endocrine systems. Wiley & Sons, New York, 1983. Cobelli C., Bonadonna R. (Ed.) Bioingegneria dei Sistemi Metabolici. Bologna: Patron, 1998. Lecture notes. Scientific papers.

  • Biomedical Engineering (Corso di Laurea Magistrale (DM 270/04))

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