Cellular Physiology of the Cardiovascular System

Module code: BS3056

Module co-ordinator: Dr Noel Davies

In this module you will study the cellular aspects of the regulation of the cardiovascular system and the physiological processes that occur at the cellular level within the cardiovascular system. We will consider how these processes lead to the regulation of the heartbeat and blood vessel function in health and in some disease states.

Topics covered

  • The cardiovascular system and the control systems involved in regulating blood pressure.
  • Mechanisms of ion transport at the cell membrane; how ion channel structure relates to function.
  • Molecular processes involved in regulating ion channels and contractile proteins within the cardiovascular system.
  • ellular mechanisms leading to the generation and regulation of the cardiac action potential.
  • Disorders of cardiac rhythm and the consequences of impaired blood supply (ischaemia).
  • Signalling mechanisms involved in haemostasis and thrombosis.
  • Mechanisms leading to contraction of both cardiac and smooth muscle and how these processes are controlled by the regulation of intracellular Ca2+.
  • auses and consequences of atherosclerosis.


  • 30 one-hour lectures
  • 4 hours of demonstrations/practicals
  • 4 one-hour tutorials


  • Exam, 3 hours (70%)
  • Practical report (15%)
  • Essay, 2,000 words (15%)