Smartphone-Enabled Web-Based Simulation of Cellular Neurophysiology for
Laboratory Course and its Effectiveness

Takayuki Yamamoto1,2, Adam Weitemier1, and Makoto Kurokawa1
1Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan;
2Teikyo University High School, Tokyo 192-0361, Japan.

The introduction of computer simulations has enhanced the teaching of neurobiology. Many simulators for personal computers are available, but in countries where schools have low school information and communication technology readiness, it is difficult to introduce computer simulations. Even in such countries, however, students often have their own smartphones and are good at operating them. Therefore, we have developed five web-based simulators that cover a wide range of neurophysiology, including single and whole-cell channel currents, membrane potentials and generation and conduction of action potentials using HTML5 and JavaScript. These simulators may be run free of charge on any device, regardless of the model or OS, thereby enabling schools that have no experience in introducing simulations to introduce them easily. These simulators were especially useful in many schools during COVID-19 restrictions. In this paper, we explain the functions of the simulators we have developed and introduce some practical examples. To verify the usefulness of the simulators, we also conducted a survey in the classrooms in which the simulators were used. Understanding and motivation to learn was shown to increase significantly, indicating that these are useful for neurobiology education.