Homepage » Courses Offered » Undergraduate Studies » 6th 13B036 Clinical Biochemistry


Compulsory/Elective Code Semester Lectures Practicals Credits ECTS
Elective 13Β036 6th 4 Hrs/Wk  3 Hrs/Wk 5 6,5

The understanding of the biochemical and molecular aspects of human life, and of the laboratory methods used in the diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and prevention of human diseases.


1. The study of the basic principles of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics in order to understand the basic biochemical and molecular processes involved in the normal human physiology as well as the disorders of these processes during the development of human diseases.

2. The understanding of the basic principles and the way of using the laboratory methods of Modern Clinical Chemistry, Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics in the diagnosis, prognosis, personalized treatment and monitoring of the patients.

3. The familiarization of students with the different applications of Analytical Clinical Biochemistry and automated analysis in the modern clinical practice, as well as with the safety rules and ethics of the modern Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory.

At the end of the course the student is expected to: a) know the modern principles of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, b) aquire the basic knowledge of human pathobiochemistry, c) understand the main biochemical and molecular processes of the normal human physiology, as well as their abnormalities in the occurrence of pathological lesions, d) know and understand the basic principles of the analytical tests of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, as well as their exploitation to examine human health, e) become familiar with the principles and applications of modern Analytical Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, f) become familiar with the modern automated biochemical analysis and organology, g) understand the procedures and importance of Quality Control in the Clinical Biochemistry Lab, h) become familiar with the design and implementation of quality control programs, i) estimate analytical errors, j) correct analytical errors and to calibrate basic analytical instruments, k) choose the appropriate diagnostic tests based on patient needs, l) interpret analytical results, m) become familiar with epidemiological concepts, n) become familiar in assessing the diagnostic clinical value of the analytical methodologies of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, p) perform the statistical analysis required in the modern laboratory practice and quality control, q) become familiar with the handling of biological samples and control reagents, r) understand the modern methodologies and applications of Molecular Diagnostics, s) become familiar with the optimal use of cancer markers in modern clinical practice.


Introduction to Clinical Chemistry - Clinical Biochemistry (2 Hours): Definition of Clinical Chemistry - Clinical Biochemistry Science, Modern Trends. Safety and hygiene rules at the Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory. Principles of Ethics.

Quality Control of the Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory (4 Hours): Quality Control Basic Principles. Basic concepts of biostatistical analysis. Internal Quality Control. External Quality Control Schemes. Types of analytical errors. Error correction - instrument calibration.

Sampling and Maintenance of biological samples (2 hours): Biological samples in the Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory. Blood samples - Haemolysis. Blood coagulation and anticoagulants. Biological samples of urine, semen, prostatic fluid and cerebrospinal fluid – Sampling, sample maintenance and analysis

Evaluation of Analytical / Diagnostic tests (4 hours): Reference values. Criteria for appropriate selection of diagnostic test. Basic epidemiological concepts and principles. ROC analysis. The main analyses of the Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory and the human diseases in which they are used. Interpretation of analytical results.

Analytical Methodology and Automated Analysis in Clinical Biochemistry (8 Hours): Basic principles of analytical methods. Immunochemical analytical tests. ELISA, Immunohistochemistry (IHC), Radioimmunoassay (RIA) - Immunoradiometric assay (IRMA), Fluorescence Immunoassays (FIA) and Chemiluminescence (CLIA). Use of radioisotopes – safety rules and handling of a radioisotope in the clinical laboratory. Spectrophotometry. Fluorometry. Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. Chemiluminescence - Electrochemiluminescence. Automated Biochemical Analysis.

Clinical Pathobiochemistry (10 hours): Basic principles of the pathobiochemistry of the liver, kidney, urinary system and cardiovascular system. Basic Metabolic Disorders - Diabetes Mellitus. Disorders of the thyroid gland.

Enzyme Analysis in Clinical Biochemistry (3 Hours): Biochemical tests of cardiac function. Laboratory testing of renal and hepatic function. Liver, bile and pancreas enzymes - biochemical tests.

Hormones and hormonal tests (4 hours): Hypothalamus – pituitary gland axis, adrenal glands. Biochemical testing of the thyroid gland. Parathyroid gland and calcium metabolism. Biochemical analysis of calcium metabolism. Hormones of the gastrointestinal tract. Hormones of the reproductive system. Biochemical analysis of diabetes mellitus.

Molecular Diagnostics (10 Hours): Introduction to Molecular Diagnostics - Basic Concepts and Principles. Methodologies and Techniques of Molecular Diagnostics. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): Conventional PCR, Reverse Transcription PCR (RT-PCT), nested PCR, multiplex PCR, real-time quantitative PCR (real-time qPCR). Analysis of mutations. DNA sequencing methods, DNA analysis methods without sequencing (CSGE, DGGE, SSCP, DHPLC, ASO). DNA Microarrays. Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). Modern Applications of Molecular Diagnostics.

Cancer and cancer markers (5 hours): Introduction to carcinogenesis - general principles of pathobiochemistry and molecular biology of cancer and cancer cells. Oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes - Mutations and gene expression control. Introduction to diagnosis, staging, prognosis and monitoring of human malignancies. Cancer Markers - Features and Properties. Diagnostic and prognostic markers: Gynecological cancers, head and neck cancers, leukemias and lymphomas, gliomas and sarcomas, gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and urinary tract cancers.


1. Laboratory testing of renal function - pregnancy detection: Safety and hygiene rules in the Clinical Chemistry - Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory - General urine test - Determination of creatinine levels and plasma clearance test - Immunochromatography detection of pregnancy

2. Laboratory investigation of dyslipidemia: Isolation of serum and plasma from whole blood samples - Enzymatic determination of total cholesterol levels - Enzymatic determination of levels of triglycerides - Determination of Lipoproteins HDL, LDL and VLDL

3. Laboratory investigation of diabetes mellitus: Determination of blood glucose levels - Glucose tolerance test - Determination of glycosylated hemoglobin

4. Hepatic tests - Laboratory investigation of myocardial infarction: Determination of serum alanine aminotransferase activity (ALT, SGPT) - Determination of serum aspartate aminotransferase activity (AST, SGOT) - Determination of serum lactate dehydrogenase activity (LDH)

5. Cancer Biomarkers - Molecular Diagnostics: Reverse Transcription (RT) reaction - cDNA synthesis - Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) - Determination of ERBB2 oncogene overexpression in breast cancer - Electrophoretic determination of PCR products - Evaluation of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) diagnostic value in prostate cancer - Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC)

6. Automated analysis - Instruments and methods: Organology and types of automated biochemical analyzers, quality control of automated biochemical analyzers, basic processes in automated biochemical analysis and selection of automatic analyzers - Demonstration of automated biochemical analysis instruments - Real-time polymerase chain reaction (Real time PCR). Determination of KRAS oncogene mutations in colorectal cancer - Determination of biomolecules by automated biochemical analyzer and point-of-care (home-use) analyzer.

  Lectures: Andreas Scorilas, Professor of Clinical Biochemistry (Coordinator) - Dr. Nikolaos Arvanitis (Laboratory Teaching Staff) - Dr. Paraskevi Skourou (Laboratory Teaching Staff)
  Practicals: Andreas Scorilas, Professor of Clinical Biochemistry (Coordinator) - Dr. Nikolaos Arvanitis (Laboratory Teaching Staff) - Dr. Paraskevi Skourou (Laboratory Teaching Staff) - Dr. Eleftheria Kravvariti (Laboratory Teaching Staff)

There are no prerequisites for the student to choose and attend the course.

The course is offered to Erasmus students: Teaching in Greek language - Exams in English language.

The evaluation processis carried out in Greek language (there is the possibility in English for Erasmus students), with a final examination of the whole course that includes: I. Written exams of the course (based on the lectures), with graded-difficulty  questions, exercises and multiple choice - II. Written exams of the laboratory exercises (takes place at the same time with the written exams of the course). The average grade of Laboratory Exercises contributes 20% to the final, total, course grade. 

  If you require more information, please contact the Course Coordinator, Prof. Andreas Scorilas at: Tel: +30 210 727 4306, Email: ascorilas[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr or Dr. Paraskevi Skourou at: Tel: +30 210 727 4507, Email: pskourou[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr