Medical Physics, Second Cycle
1. year

Dr. Borut Kirn

Hours per week – 2. semester:
Regular enrolement
Content (Syllabus outline)

Basic principles: Biological regulatory systems, basic principles of system theory, homeostasis. Transport across membranes and epithelium, transport of mass in the body. Basics of electrophysiology. Basics of contractility.

Physiology of cardiovascular system: Cardiac electric activity. Hemodynamics. Heart as a pump. Arterial systems. Blood pressure and measurements of blood pressure. Microcirculations. Lymphatic system. Peripheral circulation and regulation. Cardiac activity monitoring. Venus system and heart volume. Specifics of blood transport through various areas.

Physiology of breathing: Connection between the function and lung structure. Alveolar ventilation. Breathing mechanics. Diffusion of gasses in lungs. Blood transport through lungs. Oxygen and carbon dioxide transport in blood. Breathing control. Non-breathing functions.

Renal physiology and body liquids: Physiology of body liquids. Renal physiology (connection between the kidney function and structure, renal blood circulation and glomeral filtrations, estimation of microbiopsy data, proximal tubul, Henley’s loop, distal nephron, hormone effects on kidney function). Regulation of water and electrolytes in the body (blood regulation, osmotric regulation, acido-basis physiology, kalium homeostasis).

Physiology of neural cell and synaptic transfer: Microphysiology of synaptic transfer, mediator systems, neural cell regeneration.

Physiology of neural networks: Characteristics of neural networks. Reflex. Neural network development.

Overview of neural system: Sensory systems (general sensory processes, somatosensory processes, especially pain, visual, audio and vestibular system, smell and taste). Motor systems (spinal cord, brainstem, primary and secondary motor cortex, basal ganglia, brain). Reticular formation. Vegetative neural system. Hypothalamus. Neuroendocrinology. Lymbic system.


• Berne RM, Levy MN, Koeppen BM in Stanton BA. Physiology, 5th Ed. St.Louis: Mosby, 2004

Objectives and competences

Students will learn about the normal body physiology. They will understand fundamental concepts in physiology and principles of physiologic measurements. They will be able to present the results of the measurements in the context of basic physiologic concepts. Basic understanding of biophysics, biochemistry, biology and normal morphology will be developed.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Obtaining basic knowledge about key systems in a human body, their relationship and interactions.

Use of basic physiological concepts for solving problems in physical medicine.

Critical evaluation of theoretical predictions in comparison to experimental results.

Transferable skills:
Ability to communicate with experts from medical fields, identification of clinical problems with the basic understanding of physiology.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, problem classes, homework, consultations.


2 tests with problem solving, written exam (problem solving)
oral exam (questions from lectures)
Marks: 5 (not passed), 6-10 (passed) (according to the UL rules).

Lecturer's references

doc. dr. Borut Kirn

KIRN, Borut, WALMSLEY, John, LUMENS, Joost. Uniqueness of local myocardial strain patterns with respect to activation time and contractility of the failing heart : a computational study. BioMedical engineering online, ISSN 1475-925X, Dec. 2018, vol. 17
DIEDRICH, M.; STEINSEIFER, U.; SCHMITZ-RODE, T.; RISVANIS, F.; ARENS, J.; KIRN, B. Reliability of left atrial pressure estimation from left ventricular filling measurement in a total artificial heart. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS, 2019; pp 4905-4908.
LUMENS, Joost, DELHAAS, Tammo, KIRN, Borut, ARTS, Theo. Three-wall segment (TriSeg) model describing mechanics and hemodynamics of ventricular interaction. Annals of biomedical engineering, ISSN 0090-6964, 2009, letn. 37, št. 11, str. 2234-2255
KIRN, Borut, JANSEN, Annemieke, BRACKE, Frank, VAN GELDER, Berry, ARTS, Theo, PRINZEN, Frits W. Mechanical discoordination rather than dyssynchrony predicts reverse remodeling upon cardiac resynchronization. American journal of physiology, heart and circulatory physiology, ISSN 0363-6135, 2008, letn. 295, št. 2, str. H640-H646
KIRN, Borut, STARC, Vito. Continuous axial contraction wave in the free wall of the guinea pig left ventricle. Comput. biol. med.. [Print ed.], 2007, letn. 37, št. 10, str. 1394-1397.