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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Maxsim2-Real-time interactive simulations for computer-assisted teaching of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics

Gabrielsson, Johan; Andersson, Kristoffer; Tobin, Gunnar; Ingvast Larsson, Carina; Jirstrand, Mats


We developed a computer program for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. This program can also be used in environmental and toxicological studies and preclinical simulation, to facilitate communication between modeling pharmacokineticists and project leaders or other decision-makers in the pharmaceutical industry. The program simulates the drug delivery and transport by means of (I) a six-compartment physiological pharmacokinetic flow model, (II) a system of traditional compartment models, or (III) a target-mediated drug disposition system. The program also can be used to simulate instantaneous equilibria between concentration and pharmacodynamic response, or as temporal delays between concentration and response. The latter is done by means of turnover models (indirect response models). Drug absorption, distribution, and elimination are represented by differential equations, which are described by organ and tissue volumes or other volumes of distribution, blood flows, clearance terms, and tissue-to-blood partition coefficients. The user can control and adjust these parameters by means of a slider in real time. By interactively changing the parameter values and simultaneously displaying the resulting concentration-time and/or response-time profiles, users can understand the major mechanisms that govern the disposition or the pharmacological response of the drug in the organism in real time. Schedule dependence is typically seen in clinical practice with a non-linear concentration-response relationship, and is difficult to communicate except via simulations. Here, we sought to illustrate the potential advantages of this approach in teaching pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics to undergraduate pharmacy-, veterinary-, and medical students or to project teams in drug discovery/development. (c) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Pharmacology training; Real time simulations; Interaction; Visualization

Published in

Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
2014, volume: 113, number: 3, pages: 815-829

Authors' information

Gabrielsson, Johan
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
Andersson, Kristoffer
Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
Tobin, Gunnar
University of Gothenburg
Ingvast Larsson, Carina
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
Jirstrand, Mats
Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre

Associated SLU-program


UKÄ Subject classification

Pharmacology and Toxicology
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Publication Identifiers


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