Issue 11, 2006

Photochemistry of 2,6-diisopropylphenol (propofol)


The photochemistry of the anaesthetic agent propofol (PPF) was investigated in three different solvents of quite different polarity (cyclohexane, methanol and phosphate buffer pH 7) by means of nanosecond laser flash photolysis and absorption spectroscopy. GC-MS spectrometry measurements of PPF in cyclohexane have revealed the formation of two major products upon low intensity UV continuous irradiation of PPF in aerated solution: the diphenol derivative of PPF and 2,6-diisopropyl-p-benzoquinone (PPFQ). Only the diphenol compound was obtained in anaerobic solution. PPF phenoxyl radical (PPF˙) generation has been assigned as the original step leading to the formation of both the diphenol compound and PPFQ in cyclohexane as revealed by laser flash photolysis at 266 nm and by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy as well. Investigation of PPF by nanosecond flash photolysis at 266 nm in the other solvents revealed the occurrence of different photochemical processes depending on the nature and the polarity of the solvent. A reaction scheme is proposed in order to discuss the mechanism of reaction of PPF in all media.

Graphical abstract: Photochemistry of 2,6-diisopropylphenol (propofol)

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
24 Apr 2006
22 Aug 2006
First published
04 Sep 2006

Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2006,5, 1059-1067

Photochemistry of 2,6-diisopropylphenol (propofol)

B. Heyne, F. Tfibel, M. Hoebeke, P. Hans, V. Maurel and M.-P. Fontaine-Aupart, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2006, 5, 1059 DOI: 10.1039/B605782A

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