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Biotechnology of reproduction

Course code:



Daniela SURICO



Degree program:

Course in Medical Biotechnologies









Comprehensive course:

Fertility, reproduction and endocrine system biotechnologies

Academic year:



Course objectives

This module aims at organizing and integrating the topics already dealt with in introductory courses. Its instructive aim is to give students the fundamental knowledge necessary to understand the physiology of the genesis of the follicle , of the sperm, the main pathologies of the reproductive sphere , the procedure for studying the female and male reproductive activity, the necessary therapies to hyperstimulate the ovaries, the techniques of artificial insemination and the main biotechnologies applied to assisted reproduction.


Knowledge and skills expectations

The students must know the basic principles of Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry, and Biochemistry.

Course program

Male reproductive activity: reference to the male functional anatomy of the reproductive system, a short account of the endocrine control of the genesis of sperm, techniques used to collect seminal fluid (MESA , PESA, TESA, TESE ), assessment of semen ( sperm test ), techniques of processing and preserving sperm. Female reproductive activity: reference to the functional anatomy of the female reproductive system, a short account of the endocrine control of the genesis of the ovum. Female and male genesis of the gamete, transference of gametes, fertilization therapies of induction and control of ovulation. Biotechnologies applied to reproduction: instrumental intrauterine insemination (IUI) , fertilization in vitro and embryotransfer (FIVET), introcytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI), ovum pick up (OPU), transfer of embryos. Techniques of cryopreservation of gametes and embryos.


Practical training

Possibility of individual laboratory practice with the aim of giving students the opportunity to experiment on what was learnt during lessons.


Optional activities

Students can follow the activities carried on by the doctors working in the University Institute for the study and therapy of the infertility of the couple of the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Clinic. Students can approach doctors at work during the first medical examinations of the infertile couple: monitoring ovulation , following the preparation of the sperm liquid, intrauterine insemination.


Course materials

Power-point presentation , interactive CD-ROM didactics, web sites useful for the purpose


Required texbooks / Bibliographic resources

  • Scuola Nazionale di P.M.A. “Guida alla valutazione e al trattamento della coppia in cerca di prole”
  • Foresta, Lenzi, De Stefano, Lanzone “Il percorso clinico-diagnostico della coppia infertile”
  • Foresta “La riproduzione umana e le influenze ambientali”
  • Shoham, Howles, Jacobs “Female infertility therapy”
  • Genazzani “Endocrinologia ginecologica”
  • Greco “Male infertility and ART”
  • Yen, Jaffe, Barbieri “Endocrinologia della riproduzione”


Methods of evaluation

The final exam for the course of Fertility, Reproduction and Endocrine System Biotechnologies will be done in a single session according to the prescheduled yearly timetable.

It will consist of a written exam, and will include two consecutive tests, one for each subject of the course with lecturers present during the tests.

Each test will consist of three statements queries, each statement will require a 5-to-10 lines answer.

The maximum time allowed for each test will be 30 mins (one hour total).

Test results will be available the day after the exam.

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