Analytical Techniques for Clinical Chemistry (2020/2021)

Course code
Daniela Cecconi
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
teoria 5 II semestre Daniela Cecconi

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laboratorio 1 II semestre Daniela Cecconi

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students with the basic principles for the interpretation of analytical data and the reliability of analytical measurements (errors, preanalytical and analytical variability, precision, accuracy, sensitivity and specificity, prediction).
The most important analytical techniques for clinical chemistry will be described (such as techniques for the enzymatic determination of analyte concentration, immunochemical techniques, radiochemical and electrochemical techniques, immunoelectrophoresis).
Upon completing the course, students will have the knowledge necessary to recognize the strengthens and weakness of the different techniques and their applicability to different biological samples.

The student will acquire laboratory skills through a series of exercises concerning the determination of enzymes and analytes in biological matrices such as serum and plasma.


MM: theory
• Collection of biological materials.
• The components of the variability in clinical chemistry (pre-analytical, biological, analytical). Experimental errors.
• Precision, accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of analytical measurements.
• Predictability of an analytical test. Quality control of the results.
• Comparison of analytical methods (regression analysis, Bland-Altman plot).
• Techniques for the detection of enzyme activity. Enzymatic determination of analyte concentration.
• Immunochemical techniques. Heterogeneous (competitive / non-competitive), homogeneous (competitive / non-competitive).
• Immunoenzymatic assays (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay; Microparticle enzyme immunoassay; Enzyme Multiplied immunoassay; Cloned enzyme donor immunoassay).
• Immunofluorescent techniques (Immunofluorescence Assay, Fluorescence Polarization immunoassay; Dissociation-Enhanced Lanthanide Fluorescent immunoassay; IF Microscopy and FACS).
• Chemiluminescence (Lumino immunoassay; Chemiluminescent Magnetic immunoassay; ElectroChemiLuminiscence; Bioluminescence enzyme immunoassay; Immunoassays with avidin-biotin)
• Radioimmunoassay (Radio immunoassay; Immuno Radiometric Assay).
• Agglutination test. Complement fixation test.
• Immunodiffusion; Immunoelectrophoresis; Counter current electrophoresis.
Immunonephelometry and Immunoturbidimetry.
• Electrolytes and electrochemical techniques in diagnostics.
• Biosensors

MM: laboratory
The student will participate to practical experiences concerning the typical analyses of a clinical chemistry laboratory, for example glucose determination by GOD-POD enzymatic colorimetric method; determination of alkaline phosphatase by kinetic method DEA optimized; alanine aminotransferase determination by kinetic UV method IFCC optimized. The laboratory also include practical experiences concerning assays to determine transferrin, complement factor C3c and fibrinogen by radial immunodiffusion as well as analysis of immunodetection by enhanced chemiluminescence.

Assessment methods and criteria

MM: theory
To present themselves to the final written exam, the students must have been done the exposition in classroom of a scientific paper related to one of the techniques described during the course.

The NON-attending students wishing to take the exam must contact the coordinator of the course within the first two weeks to be included in the schedule of presentations and to have the scientific paper assigned. It is suggested to attend at least 30% of lessons.
It is mandatory the participation to the entire lesson in which the student exposes the article. It is mandatory (except for non-attending students) also the participation to the lessons in which the colleagues discuss their paper.

The aim of the exam is to verifying the level of achievement of the learning outcomes which are above indicated.
The exam consists of a written test that covers all the topics of the program. The students will have to answer to different open questions, demonstrating that they understand, and are able to use, the basic concepts of each topic.

MM: laboratory
Understanding of practical experiences will be verified through questions included in the test of the theoretical course.

The final vote is obtained from the following formula: Vote = Vote_exam + max of 2 points per paper presentation.

Reference books
Activity Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
teoria Ciaccio M, Lippi G Biochimica Clinica e Medicina di Laboratorio (Edizione 2017) EdiSES Edizioni Scientifiche ed Universitarie 2017 9788879599580
teoria Italo Antonozzi e Elio Gulletta Medicina di Laboratorio (Edizione 3) Piccin 2019 978-88-299-2973-3
teoria Spandrio L. Principi e tecniche di chimica clinica. Piccin 2001 978-88-299-1569-9