KNUST Level 300 Course Structure in Biochemistry
Year Three: Semester One
BCHEM 353 – METABOLISM AND DISEASES I
General principles governing synthetic pathways. Synthetic pathways of
carbohydrate and lipid metabolism – gluconeogenesis, glyoxylate cycle,
glycogenesis, biosynthesis of fatty acids, phospholipids and
BCHEM 355 – ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY I
Acid/bases. Buffers. Methods of measuring pH. Potentiometric
titrations. Polarimetry. Colorimetry and spectrophotometry. Flourimetry.
Phosphorimetry. Turbidometry. Nephelometry. Flame photometry.
BCHEM 357 – FERMENTATION BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY I
Definition of fermentation. Types of fermentation processes. Safety in
the fermentation laboratory. Microbial isolation (e.g. antibiotics
producing strains). Strain preservation and culture management.
Inoculum preparation. Fermentation with wild-type strains, mutant and
genetically engineered microorganisms. Fermentative production of amino
acids, eg. glutamic acid. Strain improvement for amino acid production.
Amino acid production with enzymes. Strain improvement methods for
BCHEM 361 – INTEGRATED LABORATORY METHODS I
Analytical biochemistry practicals: experiments on the use of the pH
meter and its calibration; preparation of buffer solutions and
determination of buffer capacity of different buffers, experiments on
titration of strong and weak acid systems; use of the polarimeter for
qualitative and quantitative analysis of sugars; experiments on
spectrophotometry; determination of absorption spectrum of some dyes;
Biuret and Lowry methods of protein quantitation; determination of serum
cholesterol levels; inorganic phosphate determination by Fiske and
Fermentation and biotechnology practicals: general microbiology
laboratory safety and regulations; basic techniques of observation,
isolation and characterization of microbes; preservation of microbes;
fermenter types and functions (industrial visits); design and costing
for a fermentation set-up.
BCHEM 363 – BIOCHEMICAL ENGINEERING I
Introduction to biochemical engineering. Material and energy balances.
Fluid flow. Mixing and agitation of liquids. Heat
transfer. Microbial growth kinetics – batch, fed – batch and
continuous culture systems. Fermenters (bioreactors): types and
construction principles. Operations: oxygen supply and demand,
aeration efficiency, pH and temperature control, use of anti – foaming
BCHEM 365 – BIOPHYSICS
Physical techniques: electrophoresis, microscopy and radiobiology.
(1) Electrophoresis: theory and methods of electrophoresis.
Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. SDS- PAGE, agarose gel
electrophoresis. Isoelectric focussing applications.
Microscopy: important parameters used in microscopy – magnification,
resolving power and contrast. Phase contrast microscopy. Electron
microscopy. Practical microscopy.
(3) Radiobiology: origin and
properties of radioactivity. Types of radiation. Artificial
radioactivity. Atomic transmutation. Kinetics of radioactive decay.
Detection of radioactivity. Geiger – Müller tube. Liquid scintillation
counting techniques and applications. Isotope dilution. Radiotracer
techniques in metabolic studies. Autoradiography. Biological effects of
nuclear radiation. Radiation dosimetry. Activation analysis. Safe
handling of radioisotopes. Disposal of radioactive waste; Application of
radioisotopes in agriculture, food, medicine etc. Imaging techniques.
MATH 153 – STATISTICAL METHODS I
Basic concepts of statistics; statistical methods; descriptive
statistics, organization and presentation of data; numerical measurers;
central tendency; dispersion; position; skewness; kurtosis; probability;
random experiments; probability laws; computation of probability of
single events; application of permutation and combination; counting
techniques in probability.
ECON 151 – INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS I
The purpose of this course is to introduce those without prior
knowledge of Economics to fundamental concepts and the use of analytical
techniques which will be helpful in the study of economic
problems. It is also to provide those not intending to specialise
in the subject with knowledge of principles which can be in related
discipline. The course covers the nature and scope of economics;
consumer choice; determination of prices in different market conditions;
production theory; and theory of distribution.
YEAR THREE: SEMESTER TWO
BCHEM 354 – METABOLISM AND DISEASES II
Nitrogen cycle and amino acid metabolism. Metabolism of porphyrin,
purines and pyrimidines. Disorders of carbohydrate, lipids and amino
acid metabolism. Metabolic regulation.
BCHEM 356 – ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY II
Chromatographic methods: Partition, adsorption, ion exchange, molecular
exclusion, thin layer and affinity chromatography, Gas Liquid
Chromatography (GLC), High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).
Chromatofocussing. Preparative and analytical centrifugation.
Immunological methods and biosensors.
BCHEM 358 – FERMENTATION BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY II
Development of fermentation processes. Bench-top fermenters set-up.
Purification methds (small and large-scale). Bioethanol, wine and beer
productions. Vinegar production. Fermentative production of citric
acids. Biomass, biopolymer (e.g. polyhydroxy alkanaotes: PHAs, etc.) and
single-cell protein (SCP) production. Solid state fermentation: enzyme
production, mushroom production. Production of proteins via recombinant –
BCHEM 362 – INTEGRATED LABORATORY METHODS II
Food analysis practicals: proximate analysis of a food sample to
include determination of moisture, ash, protein, crude fibre,
non-protein nitrogen, nitrogen-free extract, oils and fats.
biochemistry practicals: determination of the iron content of some
selected vegetables by atomic absorption/flame photometry, experiments
on chromatography to include adsorption chromatography for separation of
plant pigments, experiments on thin layers chromatography for
separation of lipids using one solvent and two solvent systems.
Demonstration of HPLC and GLC Experiments on rapid isolation of DNA from
plant and animal sources. DNA characterisation by agarose gel
Fermentation and biotechnology practicals: Lactic
acid fermentation and yoghurt production from cow milk and plant milk
sources; cheese production from milk; lactic acid fermentation of some
local vegetables; alcohol fermentation – ethanol from sugar/sugar cane;
malt from various indigenous cereals – comparison of wort from these
cereals; wine production from different carbohydrate sources; solid
state fermentation of traditional foods – kenkey, ogi, fish, etc.
BCHEM 364 – BIOCHEMICAL ENGINEERING II
Downstream processing, Fermentation economics, Sterilization.
Refrigeration principles. Size reduction. Mixing and forming. Separation
and concentration of products. Drying. Waste disposal.
BCHEM 360 – FOOD BIOCHEMISTRY
Essential nutrients required by man. Carbohydrates, lipids and
proteins; properties related to food. Enzymes; properties related to
food. Sources and uses of food enzymes. Plant pigments. Plant acids.
Pectic substances and colloidal state of foods. Browning reactions. Food
additives and toxicants. Sensory characteristics of taste; sweet, sour
and bitter tastes.
MATH 154 – STATISTICAL METHODS II
Averages and variations;
mode, median and mean; measures of variation; mean and standard
deviation of grouped data; percentiles and Box-and-Whisker plots; random
variables and probability distribution; binomial distribution; Poisson
distribution; normal distribution; statistical influences.
ECON 152 – INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS II
A survey of national income – its measurement and determinants; fluctuations in economics activity and trends in Ghana’s national income; index number; international trade and national economy; role of government.