Synthetic polymers capable of capture, storage and release of volatile anaesthetics such as desfluorane and sevofluorane.
Volatile compounds such as nitrous oxide (N2O) and fluorinated ethers including isoflurane (I) are extensively used in medicine as inhalation anaesthetics. Release of these compounds into enclosed spaces such as operating theatres or the external environment arises because only a minor proportion (if any) of inhaled anaesthetics are metabolised by the body and thus the anaesthetic is liberated upon exhalation by the patient. The release of the gases/vapours that are in common use poses a significant environmental problem because, in general, they are extremely potent greenhouse gases. In addition to the problems related to the impact on the wider environment, both short term and long term exposure to the compounds can adversely affect the health of those who work in the immediate environment where inhalation anaesthetics are in use.Metal organic frameworks have been developed that are able to absorb, store and release common volatile anesthetic gases. The materials have been shown to uptake significant quantities of the anaesthetics: N2O, isoflurane, sevoflurane, and xenon.
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