Raveendran R. Simulating the effects of drugs on the ciliary motility of frog oesophagus [abstract]. ALTEX. 2009;26(Special Issue):214. Abstract 100


Frogs are used as in vivo and in vitro models for demonstrating the effects of drugs to medical students. Cilia present in the frog oesophagus respond to cholinergic drugs, and hence the frog oesophagus is used to demonstrate their effects. Since a large number of frogs are killed for demonstration, it was decided to write a software program simulating the effects of drugs on the oesophagus to replace frogs used for teaching. The software displays a frog on a wooden board with its oesophagus dissected open and fixed. At the cephalic end of the oesophagus the user can place a poppy seed, which is moved caudally due to the motility of cilia present in the mucosal surface of oesophagus. The user should note the time taken for the seed to reach the end point fixed at the caudal end and this indicates the activity of cilia. The user can instil different drugs, such as acetylcholine, physostig-mine and atropine on the oesophagus and observe the influence of these drugs on time taken for the seed to travel between start and end points. The results can be tabulated and analysed.

Live demonstrations of animal experiments are conducted for medical students mainly to reinforce what is taught in the pharmacology lecture classes. The same objective can be achieved with the software without sacrificing the frogs. The software includes tutorial and examination modules and can be used for demonstration as well as examination purposes. Thus the software can effectively serve as an alternative.

Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation