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Organ Bath

Organ Bath - Ileum

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Learn about how an organ bath works and how it can be used to determine the effect of drugs on an isolated piece of aorta. Practise using the equipment to wash a piece of tissue and determine the effect of 4 drugs, including acetylcholine and histamine on the ileum. Analyse a force-time trace to identify the effect of each drug on the tissue.

Learning Outcomes

  • Consider the role of different parts of the organ bath equipment
  • Determine the effect of four different drugs on ileum
  • Relate the shape of the force-time trace to the underlying pharmacology
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Using Instruments and Equipment

  • What are the different parts of the organ bath equipment
  • How to run a single wash cycle

Obtaining and Recording Data

  • Why the tissue must be washed in between drug applications
  • How to annotate the force-time trace generated by the chart recorder

Interpreting and Analysing Data

  • What receptors are bound by acetylcholine, pilocarpine, mepyramine and histamine
  • How to determine whether a drug causing smooth muscle contraction by analysing a force-time trace

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Prof. Gavin Maneveldt
University of the Western Cape

Having more time to spend on the actual practicals showed a great improvement in the marks achieved by students as well. The positive interactions with the students demonstrated that they had engaged well with the online resources.



Pharmacological Science
Biomedical Science




Organ Bath

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