Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2020/2021 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Laura Chiarantini
Teaching in foreign languages
Course partially taught in a foreign language English
This course is taught partially in Italian and partially in a foreign language. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Conservation and Restauration of Cultural Heritage (LMR/02)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives
Biochemistry for the cultural heritage course has the objective of providing the basic knowledge for understanding the structure, properties and functions of molecules together with the metabolic mechanisms involved in cellular functionality. The course also provides an integrated knowledge for the comprehension of the molecular bases of the most important materials utilized for cultural heritage objects and their restoration. Particular attention will be paid to bio-deterioration.


1.     Introduction to Biochemistry: Living organisms

2.     Water, Carbon and Functional groups. Chemical bonds, macromolecules.

3.     Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates: Monosaccharides, Disaccharides, Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides. Glycosidic bond. Polyalcohols, Amino sugars, Starch, Glycogen, Cellulose, Chitin, Glycosaminoglycans, Proteoglycans

4.     Lipids: Fatty acids, Glycerides, Non-glycerides, Steroids. Foreign bond. Glycolipids. Structure and function of the plasma membrane. Saponification. Rancidity.

5.     Protein: Amino acids, classification, peptide bond. Proteins. Primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins. Physico-chemical characteristics, denaturation. Keratin, Collagen, Fibroin

6.     Enzymes: Classification, Enzymatic kinetics, Mechanisms of action, Regulation, Classification, Hydrolase

7.     Nucleic Acids: Nucleotides, DNA and RNA, DNA duplication and transcription, Genetic code.

8.     Metabolism and bioenergetics: Thermodynamics of biological systems, ATP, protein synthesis. Molecular biology.

9.     Prokaryote and Eukaryote cells

10.  Materials of Polysaccaride origin: Wood, Paper, Vegetable Fibers and Fabrics, Glues, Polysaccharide Gelling Agents, Vegetable Gums

11.  Materials of Lipid origin: Oils, Surfactants and Waxes

12.  Materials of Protein Origin: Silk, Wool, Parchment, Glue, Use of enzymes in the restoration

13.  Biocenosis. Ecosystems. Classification of living organisms, Water, temperature, light, physical and chemical factors. Biodeterioration of the above materials and possible remedies

14.  Use of data banks for bibliographic purposes. Bibliography

Bridging Courses

Organic Chemistry

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

The student will have to show competence in the basic understanding of the structure e function of the principal macromolecules with particular reference to the materials utilized in the cultural heritage.
The student will have to comprehend the concepts and the theories presented in the course; and be able to analyse the overall role of macromolecules of cultural heritage interest; the student will also have to be capable of identifying both criticalities and strong points in the workings of biochemistry.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Presentation slides used during lessons will be provided but this material will not be sufficient for completing the necessary study.

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


The course comprises face-to-face lessons for teaching as well as for gaining insight into the creation of up-to-date biographies.


Attendance to teaching activities is mandatory.

Course books

Please contact me for an alternative bibliography


Part of the course will be taught in English. The student can request to sit the final exam in English with an alternative bibliography.

The examination is oral and begins with a question of the student's choice

« back Last update: 14/12/2020


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Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo
Via Aurelio Saffi, 2 – 61029 Urbino PU – IT
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