Solubility, adsorption, and the
thermodynamics of the cutoff effect

Katz Y.
The National Physical Laboratory of Israel,
Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904,
J Theor Biol. 2003 Dec 7;225(3):341-9


For many years, the expression "cutoff effect of anesthesia," has been used to denote the failure of the higher alcohols or paraffins to produce anesthesia. As such, it is used to assess the plausibility of specific models, proposed for anesthesia. However, the uses were shown, in many respects, to be problematic. This article augments the notion of the cutoff to fit for all cases in which only some of the molecules in a homologous series are anesthetics. We find that the location of the cutoff points is affected by three free energy quantities: that of the adsorption of the agent to the anesthetic "site" (f(sl,site)), that of the perturbation of the site (f(ll,site)), and that of the evaporation of the agent from its pure condensed phase (Deltamu degrees (evaporation)). This outcome indicates that the cutoff cannot be attributed to a single parameter. In addition, the analyses that attribute the cutoff to the failure of compounds to obey the much-used Meyer-Overton correlation will have to be amended. This article shows that cutoff results can be used to elucidate the structure of a site.
Adverse effects
Meyer-Overton rule
Obstetric anaesthesia
Molecular mechanisms
Inhalational techniques
Nitrous oxide: adverse effects
Anaesthesia: rivalries and discoveries
Consciousness, anaesthesia and anaesthetics

and further reading
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World