Rat Blood Pressure

Producer: Sheffield BioScience Programs

This highly interactive program simulates a range of experiments to demonstrate the effects of a variety of pharmacological agents/procedures on blood pressure and heart rate of the anaesthetized rat (in vivo). It is aimed at undergraduates studying pharmacology modules on a range of medical and science courses. Each section combines text, high quality colour graphics, and animation with interactive questions designed to reinforce learning.

The main menu allows students to access sections covering different aspects of the laboratory class;

Introduction: Home Office Licence requirements,

Preparation: anaesthesia/anaesthetization, cann-ulation of trachea, jugular vein and carotid artery,

Apparatus: equipment used to maintain body temperature, record blood pressure and heart rate,

Measurements: describes how to take measurements from the simulated chart recorder and how to calculate mean BP and pulse pressure,

Experiments: provides typical data for 16 different experiments selected to teach the essential pharmacology: catecholamines; pressor agents ; acetylcholine; ganglion stimulants ; uptake1-blockers; alpha-blockers ; beta-blockers; adrenaline reversal ; guanethidine ; sympathetic nerve stimulation; depressor drugs ; ganglion blockade; quantitative effects of alpha-blockade; quantitative effects of beta-blockade; reserpine; pithing

Students are expected to record and tabulate data from the screen display and to then complete student assignments e.g. a series of MCQ questions, with feedback, to assess accuracy of data collection and data interpretation; a student task (typical of a traditional lab-class report) to be completed in their own time. In addition there is a section containing a selection of MCQ's with feedback covering cardiovascular pharmacology which students can use for revision. 


Language Versions: English

Recommended System Requirements:


  • Microsoft Windows XP (32 bit), Windows Server 2003 (32-bit), Windows Server 2008 (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows 8
  • 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
  • 128MB of RAM (1GB of RAM recommended for netbooks); 128MB of graphics memory
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or later, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 or later, Google Chrome, Safari 5.0 or later, or Opera 11

Mac OS:

  • Mac OS X v10.6, v10.7, or v10.8
  • Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
  • 256MB of RAM; 128MB of graphics memory
  • Safari 5.0 or later, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 or later, Google Chrome, or Opera 11
  • Target Audience: Undergraduate students of pharmacology, pharmacy, biological sciences, medicine and veterinary medicine.

Price: £250 (multiuser, educational license).

Rat Blood Pressure Rat Blood Pressure