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Anesth Analg. 2013 Jul;117(1):65-7. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e318292f32e. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Technical communication: stability of propofol in polystyrene-based tissue culture plates.

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Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California, San Francisco, S255, Box 0542, 513 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94143-0542, USA.


Propofol has been reported to have high stability in glass and relatively high stability up to 24 hours in polyvinyl chloride-based medical plastics. Recent publications have observed the effects of propofol on cells and tissues grown in culture. Many cell culture plastics are formulated from polystyrene but we could find little information on the stability of propofol exposed to these products. We observed very little change in the concentration of propofol diluted in cell culture medium over 24 hours when exposed to glass, but substantial loss of the drug when exposed to 96-well polystyrene cell culture plates. This decrease was most rapid in the first hour but continued until 24 hours. The type of plastic used in cell and tissue culture experiments with propofol may influence the results by increasing the apparent dose required to see an effect.

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