Intestinal Absorption

An interactive computer-simulation of experiments which may be performed on one of the classical in vitro preparations - the isolated, everted intestinal sac of the rat.

David Dewhurst, Jake Broadhurst, Peter & Jacqueline Hardcastle.


The program simulates experiments designed to demonstrate by investigation the important characteristics of the transport of two important nutrients - hexoses and amino acids, in the small intestine.

INTRODUCTION and METHODS use a combination of text and high-resolution graphics to explain the process of carrier-mediated transport of these nutrients, the everted sac preparation and the methods used to measure nutrient transport: using radio labelled galactose, glycine and methionine and a scintillation counting technique; measuring the transmural potential difference particularly for kinetic analysis of the transport system.

EXPERIMENTS allows the user to collect sample data from a range of experiments designed to:

measure the transport of each of these nutrients - Control experiments;

demonstrate the Na+ dependence of the transport process by measuring transport of each nutrient when the mucosal fluid contains reduced concentrations of sodium ions (NaCl partly replaced with KCl/tris chloride/choline chloride); investigatethe mutual interaction of the hexose and amino acid transport systems by performing a series of experiments (including a kinetic analysis and calculation of apparent Km and Vmax for the transport process) to assess whether the interaction is due to competition for energy or competition at the carrier level.

Students are presented with raw data: weights: wet empty sac; weight of sac containing 0.5ml Krebs bicarbonate saline; wet weight after incubation in mucosal fluid containing a nutrient; wet weight of final empty sac; radioactive counts )cpm, ESR, dpm, blank- corrected dpm): blank; control sample; serosal sample, gut sample. The data is based on predictive models of carrier- mediated transport, which have been verified by experiment. Students collect the data and use them to calculate transport parameters e.g. mucosal fluid transfer, total amount of nutrient transferred, final gut concentration and T/M ratio, in much the same way as they would if they performed the experiment for real.

Review of Intestinal Absorption

Language Versions: English / Chinese

Recommended System Requirements:

  • Windows:
    • 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: It is aimed at undergraduate students studying physiology on a range of biomedical courses.

Price: £250 (multiuser, educational license)

ISBN 1-874758-12-3
©2008 Sheffield Bioscience Programs

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