Elements of Biology and Principles of Biodeterioration

Course Code:

Π1 1030


1st Semester

Specialization Category:

Required ( ΜΓΥ )

Course Hours:




Course Description

Course Theory

Elements of Biology: 1) Molecular Biology: Chemical composition of living matter. Carbohydrates (monosaccharides, polysaccharides, oligosaccharides), Proteins, Nucleic acids (DNA, RNA), lipids. 2) Cell Biology: Eukaryotic – prokaryotes, Biological membranes, cell wall, cellular organelles. 3) Metabolism: anabolic and catabolic reactions (C Respiration Photosynthesis). 4) Genetics: bigenics -Uniparental reproduction, copying, transcription, translation, mutation. 5) Evolution: Inheritance, Di-hybride crossings, sex-determination, mutation. 6) General Microbiology: Eukaryotic: protozoa, fungi, algae, Prokaryotes: bacteria, cyanobacteria. 7) Ecology: Ecosystems, food chains, biochemical cycles. Elements of Biodeterioration: 1) Introduction to biodeterioration environments and environmental parameters that characterize (aerobic-anaerobic, low-high relative humidity, surface-underwater excavations, etc.). 2) Basic biology of bacteria, fungi, algae, lichens. Reproduction, development, environmental and nutritional requirements. 3) Basic biology of terrestrial invertebrate organisms (Isoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, etc.) and marine invertebrate organisms (Crustaceans, Mollusks, etc.). Reproduction, development, environmental and nutritional requirements. 4) Applied Biology and Microbiology. Types and mechanisms of biodeterioration (drilling, oxidative, enzymatic degradation and generally lytic action of organisms and microorganisms) observed in art objects and in antiquities (Inorganic materials: stone, ceramic glass, metal, pigments, etc., and organic substrates: wood, paper, leather, skeletal material, etc.). 5) Methodology for isolation and identification of organisms and microorganisms causing biodeterioration. Ways of treatment (Pest control, Disinfection). First aid  measures as well as storage methods of the objects that are conserved or that they will be conserved in order to prevent further bioalteration. 6) Bio-altertation of conservation materials.

Course Practicals

Practical work initially includes some basic laboratory biology and in a second phase a laboratory approach to biodeterioration. In detail by the biological point of view, it is examined the chronological history of the planet in relation to different species and their appearance during evolution, the concept of geologic time, the different sizes of micro-organisms, the resolution of microscopes, types and operation of the various microscopes. It is also examined in the laboratory each kingdom (prokaryotic, protista, fungi, plants and animals) with a description of basic taxonomic and other features (i.e. reproduction, distribution, nutrition, respiration, cellular structure, etc.) and microscopic observation of the respective cells. At the second part of the course, students come across to the various biodeterioration types  via: observation that takes place in the field, identification of organisms that cause biodeterioration within their own habitat, experiments using materials that are buried and their degradation is observed macro- and microscopically after their lifting few weeks later. Measurements related to the degradation occurred are taken to determine the constant k of biodeterioration.


The Scope of the Course and Objectives

The Scope of the Course

Students should understand the basic principles and structure of living matter and recognize the organisms and microorganisms that cause biodeterioration as well as the types of bioalteration commonly found in archaeological and historical objects and artifacts.

Course objectives

Students should acquire skills in the relevant instrumentation applicable to the diagnosis of the above mentioned.

The student’s final grade results from 50% of the grade of the theoretical part and 50% of the grade of laboratory practices.

Students’ assessment is in Greek.
The theoretical part is examined by written exams (50%):
• Open-ended questions
• Multiple-choice questionnaires
• Short-answer questions
• Short-term progress tests
The Laboratory part (50%) knowledge is assessed for every exercise, individually or in group, by:
• Essay and written exams
• multiple choice exams
• short-term progress tests
• oral tests
Evaluation criteria reflect the achievement of the course outcomes for every student.

In Greek:

Καστρίτσης Κων., Δημητριάδης Β., Σιβροπούλου Α., (2015). Εισαγωγή στη Βιολογία, εκδ. Αφοί Κυριακίδη Α.Ε., Θεσσαλονίκη, ISBN: 978-960-602-002-5
Simon E. (2015). Βιολογία: Βασικές Έννοιες, εκδ. Παρισιανού Μονοπρόσωπη Ανώνυμη Εκδοτική Εισαγωγική Εμπορική Εταιρεία Επιστημονικών Βιβλίων, επιμ. Γ. Μίνος, Αθήνα, ISBN: 9789605830779

In English:

1. Allsopp, D. and Seal K. J. 1986. Introduction to Biodeterioration, Edward Arnold Ltd.
2. Allsopp, D. and Kenneth S. 1992. Introduction to Biodeterioration, Cambridge University Press.
3. Allsopp, D. – Gaylarde – C.C and S. Kenneth 2004. Introduction to Biodeterioration, 2nd Ed. Cambridge University Press. (Not published yet)
4. Caneva, G. – Nugari, P. N. and O. Salvadori, 1991. Biology in the conservation of works of art, ICCROM.
5. Eaton, R. A. and M.D.C. Hale 1993. Wood. Decay pest and protection. (Eds Chapman and Hall), London.
6. Koestler, R.J. 2001. Biodeterioration of Cultural Properties, Butterworth-Heinemann.
7. Pinniger, D. 1994. Insect Pest in Museums, Archetype Publications Ltd.
8. Van Emden, H. F. 1998. New studies in Biology, Pest control, Second Edition, Cambridge University Press.
9. Videla H.A. 1996. Manual of Biocorrosion, Lewis Publishers.