12 ECTS credits
320 h study time
Offer 1 with catalog number 1007107ANR for all students in the 1st and 2nd semester at a (A) Bachelor - preliminary level.
The encompassing goal of the "Biomedical Chemistry" course for the students in the 1st year Ba in Biomedical Sciences (BMS) is to learn/train the necessary chemical background, analytical skills and scientific attitude to (1) be prepared for the further curriculum BMS and (2) be able to function successfully in the BMS major's diverse prospective jobs and lines of research. Therefore, the course is more focused on developing a deep intuitive understanding of a number of core chemistry concepts than on enumerating at length all possible applications of those concepts and the special points of attention that play a role in these applications. Nevertheless, applications that are of great biomedical importance are mentioned as illustrations where possible. More generally, links to other disciplines are accentuated so that Chemistry can function as a bridge between Physics and Biology, among others. Special attention is also paid to the limits of the applicability of the relevant mathematical relationships as well as the limits of current scientific knowledge. This way, the student is encouraged to question the correctness of scientific results at all times, and more generally to approach given "facts" with a critical mind.
The course runs over 2 semesters and is divided into 4 modules. In the first semester, the student learns to perform common chemical calculations and solve common problems in the module "Chemical calculations". In the next module "Physical Chemistry for the Health Sciences", the student gains understanding of chemical relationships in the observable world, and how these are caused by interactions between (non-observable) atoms and molecules. In the second semester, the module "Organic Chemistry for the Health Sciences" focuses on the rich chemistry of the carbon compounds, which play a central role in the biochemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry later in the curriculum. To throw a bridge to these disciplines, a select number of structures and reactions of pharmaceutical molecules as well as life's building blocks (amino acids, proteins, DNA, carbohydrates, fatty acids,...) are mentioned briefly as examples.
The focus of this part lies very pragmatically on being able to perform common and basic chemical calculations that are broadly applied in diverse disciplines that are taught later in the curriculum, as well as in biomedical practice. The underlying physics is not yet explored in depth; this happens in the next part, "Physical Chemistry for the Health Sciences". Rather, the emphasis lies fully on the deep understanding of the quantitative and analytical aspects of the chemical phenomena being studied, so that the student gains the ability to rapidly formulate a solution to any chemical problem that concerns these phenomena. Toward this goal, elaborate seminars are held about this part. By starting with this, the student is prepared in time for the calculations that are needed in the different seminars and practicals in the 1st year Bachelor in BMS. This part is also the subject of the test that is taken roughly halfway the first semester.
This part starts with a description of matter at atomic level. Building upon this foundation, the student systematically discovers relationships that describe the observable world sufficiently accurately to be practically useful.
This part focuses on the chemistry of the carbon compounds, which play a central role in both pharmaceutical and biomedical chemistry later in the curriculum.
40h of guided exercises that accompany the lectures. 7 practicals of 3 to 4h each: preparation of a solution, acid-base and redox titrations, organic synthesis: production of a chloroalkane by nucleophilic substitution, production of ethyl acetate by Fischer esterification and production of bromobenzene by Grignard reaction.
The aforementioned volumes include all relevant tables and representative series of exercices from which the problems treated during the seminars are chosen. The numerical solutions to the problems and detailed solutions for selected problems of physical chemistry and for all problems of organic chemistry, along with hints for solving select problems.
The recommended volumes can be viewed or loaned at the Medical Library. Molecular Model Building Sets (for the study of molecular geometry, polarity, stereochemistry,...) can be used locally at the Medical Library.
Starting from the first lab session the students have to bring their personal lab coat.
The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Written Exam determines 80% of the final mark.
Practical Exam determines 20% of the final mark.
Within the Written Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:
Within the Practical Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:
Note: although the chapters "Acid-Base equilibria", "Acid-Base titrations" and "Solubility of salts and precipitation equilibria" can be found in the syllabus "Chemical Calculations - volume 2", they belong with "Physical Chemistry for the Health Sciences" for all practical intents and purposes, including tests and the calculation of grades.