Microlabs for Pharmacologists

By H. van Wilgenburg

Microlabs for Pharmacologists is a series of computer simulations developed with funding obtained from the "Platform Alternatieven voor Dierproeven", Solvay Pharmaceuticals and the EU Program COMETT. Type of record: CD-ROM. Category: Pharmacology (animal).

Microlabs for Pharmacologists is a series of computer simulations developed with funding obtained from the "Platform Alternatieven voor Dierproeven", Solvay Pharmaceuticals and the EU Program COMETT. The purpose of the simulations is to provide a learning and teaching aid, which will help students to become familiar with the classical actions of several groups of drugs on various species and on isolated tissues. The simulation allows the user complete control over the concentration and sequence of drug administration. A great variety of experiments can be designed. For in vivo studies, based on mathematical models, the time course of substance concentrations in two or more compartments are calculated with sets of differential equations. The effect on behaviour can be studied for a number of species. Behaviour, shown as animations or as video fragments, is derived from the kinetic and dynamic properties of the model. Anaesthesia of rats with pentobarbital, for example, can be followed step by step. After the dose has been established, motor activity and reflexes, such as righting reflex, reflexes on pinching, and eyelid and cornea reflexes can be studied. The student makes a report of the observations and compares the results with those of the computer. If necessary an additional dose can be given. In another set-up repeated doses can be applied. The same experiment can be repeated with the "same animal" for collecting plasma samples and to study kinetic parameters. Other modules offer anaesthetised whole animal preparations (heart rate and blood pressure; sciatic nerve-gastronemicus muscle), in vivo models for studying animal behaviour affected by psychoactive drugs (such as dose-effect studies, with statistical support - probit analysis-, and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic experiments) and in vitro experiments on isolated tissues (guinea pig-ileum, vas deferens, diaphragm and other nerve-muscle preparations). Many of the basic pharmacological concepts such as relative potency, selectivity, competitive and non-competitive antagonism, pA2, concentration-response relationships to name only a few can be studied in the latter simulations. The simulations provides "unknowns" which may have properties like some of the known available drugs but whose potency and possibly selectivity will be different. The same unknown can be passed from one preparation to another. Students can therefore be asked to characterise the properties of the unknown. Identification of the properties of an unknown provides a powerful learning aid which requires considerable input from the user across a broad area of pharmacology including experimental design.

Comments & References: Suitable for Undergraduate students studying pharmacology. System requirements: 3.5" disk (MS-DOS version); CD-ROM (Windows version), minimum 20 MB free memory for the Windows version. This item may be borrowed for up to 6 weeks through the Alternative Loan System of the International Network for Humane Education (InterNICHE), free of charge, but return postage must be paid by the person who has borrowed the product. Please note that there are practical limitations on where some items can be sent. Please contact loansystem@interniche.org and see http://www.interniche.org for more information.

Computer type: Windows

Price: Loan Program: Free of charge

This page was updated on 04 March 2019

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