Strathclyde Pharmacology Simulations

Producer: University of Strathclyde

The package contains a suite of programs simulating pharmacological experiments on isolated tissues or whole animals (can be downloaded from

 •           The Virtual Cat. Simulation of an anaesthetised cat experiment - a whole animal preparation which is used as a tool for screening the actions of pharmaceutical compounds on the cardiovascular and skeletal muscle systems. The simulation displays the effects of drugs on the cat’s blood pressure, heart rate, skeletal muscle and nictitating membrane contractions. 

  •           The Virtual Rat. Simulation of the pithed rat experimental preparation for investigating the actions of drugs on the heart and cardiovascular system. ‘Pithing’ refers to the destruction of spinal cord pathways, severing all the nerve connections between the brain and the cardiovascular system, simplify the interpretation of experimental results by removing the central baroreceptor reflexes. 

  •           The Virtual Twitch (Nerve-Muscle Preparation). This is a simulation of the rat phrenic nerve - hemidiaphragm preparation, used to study the actions of neuromuscular blocking and reversal agents, and other drugs which affect neuromuscular transmission. The hemi-diaphragm is a large, focally innervated, respiratory skeletal muscle, composed of fast-type muscle fibres. Electrical stimulation of the phrenic nerve evokes fast, short-lasting muscle twitches. 

  •           The Virtual NMJ (Neuromuscular Junction Electrophysiology). This is a simulation of an experiment recording the electrical potentials associated with neuromuscular transmission at the skeletal neuromuscular junction. The simulation allows you to observe the muscle action potential (AP) and endplate potentials (EPPs) evoked by either nerve stimulation or by direct current stimulation of the muscle fibre. The effects of a variety of drugs and of changes to ionic composition of the extracellular solution on the AP and EPPs can be studied. 


Medium: Downloadable from website

System requirements: MS-DOS (for earlier versions); Windows 3.11/95

Price: At the discretion of the author, the software is supplied free of charge to academic users and others working for non-commercial, non-profit making, organisations; commercial organisations may purchase a licence to use the software from the University of Strathclyde (contact the author for details)