Every molecule known to man has a background story to discovering it. Between 1925-1845, the discovery of anesthetics was very popular. Enflurane was discovered by Ross C. Terrell at Ohio Medical Products. He is known to have created over 700 potential anesthetic compounds (“Basak”). All of his anesthetics were known to be synthesized around 1960 to 1980. Ohio Medical Products were able to successfully produce two anesthetics. The two anesthetics that were developed were isoflurane and enflurane. Enflurane was officially discovered in 1963. Before the molecule was able to be sent out into the clinical field, it was extensively tested on animals and eventually some humans (“Basak”). The animals that were tested with enflurane were rats and rabbits. During some of the initial pilot tests, there was some hesitation since it was suggested that enflurane could be a hepatocarcinogen (“Basak”). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) soon found that the theory was wrong and then approved and released the molecule to the United States in 1979 (“Miller”).
Since chemistry is a worldwide science, ideally every chemical has to follow a systematic set of rules called the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The IUPAC allows for a global naming system and set of rules for all chemicals. The IUPAC name for the molecule enflurane is “2-chloro-1,1,2,-trifluoroethyl-difluoromethyl ether”. There are also many common names that enflurane is recognized by. There are many other names that enflurane can be recognized by but the other most common names for this molecule are “ethrane”, “enflurane-d2”, “methylflurether”, and “Compound 347” (“United States National Library of Medicine”). The molecular formula for enflurane is C3D2ClF5O.
To distinguish this molecule from others, it is important to look at the chemical and physical properties. Enflurane is an inhalation anesthetic that is a clear and colorless liquid. It is reported to have a pleasant or sweet smelling odor (“Sigma-Aldrich”). The physical form of the molecule is a non-flammable and stable liquid. When the temperature is at 77oF, the density of enflurane is 1.533 g/ml. Enflurane does have a boiling point. This boiling point is 56.5oC at around 760 mmHg (“Sigma-Aldrich”). This molecule has a water solubility of 0.275% and is soluble in fats, oils, and organic solvents. Enflurane also has a specific gravity. Compared to water’s specific gravity of 1.0, at 25oC enflurane has a specific gravity of 1.5167 (“Matheson”). Enflurane also has a vapor pressure of 174.5 mmHg. This molecule is classified in three chemical families; ethers, halogenated, and aliphatic (“Matheson”). Enflurane’s molecular weight is equal to 184.50g (“Matheson”).
This molecule also has toxicological properties. Enflurane may be harmful if the molecule is inhaled. This can cause irritation in the respiratory tract. If enflurane is swallowed it can also be harmful to the body. Enflurane can also be a...