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Analysis of pulmonary surfactant by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy after exposure to sevoflurane and isoflurane

Vilena Vrbanović Mijatović, Ljiljana Šerman, Ozren Gamulin


Pulmonary surfactant, consisting primarily of phospholipids and four surfactant-specific proteins, is among the first structures that is exposed to inhalation anesthetics. Consequently, changes of pulmonary surfactant due to this exposure could cause respiratory complications after long anesthetic procedures. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to explore the effects of two inhalation anesthetics, sevoflurane and isoflurane, on a commercially available pulmonary surfactant. The research was primarily focused on the effect of anesthetics on the lipid component of the surfactant. Four different concentrations of anesthetics were added, and the doses were higher from the low clinical doses typically used. Recorded spectra were analyzed using principal component analysis, and the Student’s t-test was performed to confirm the results. The exposure to both anesthetics induced similar changes, consistent with the increase of the anesthetic concentration. The most pronounced effect was on the hydrophilic head group of phospholipids, which is in agreement with the disruption of the hydrogen bond, caused by the anesthetics. A change in the band intensities of CH2 stretching vibrations, indicative of a disordering effect of anesthetics on the hydrophobic tails of phospholipids, was also observed. Changes induced by isoflurane appear to be more pronounced than those induced by sevoflurane. Furthermore, our results suggest that FTIR spectroscopy is a promising tool in studying anesthetic effects on pulmonary surfactant.


Pulmonary surfactant; isoflurane; sevoflurane; Fourier transform infrared; spectroscopy; principal component analysis

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