Partition Coefficients

Authored by: Cynthia R. Selassie , Rajeshwar P. Verma

Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9781841848198
eBook ISBN: 9781351124874
Adobe ISBN:


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The propensity of organic molecules to elicit certain therapeutic responses, induce toxic effects or undergo bioaccumulation in tissues or organisms is highly influenced by their partitioning behavior and thus by their partition coefficients. The partition coefficient of a molecule between n-octanol and water that is often used as a surrogate for a lipid-aqueous phase represents a quantitative measure of its hydrophobicity. The logarithm of the partition coefficient parameter has been shown to be of critical importance in drug discovery, development, and manufacturing, as well as in assessments of chemical distributions in air, water, and soil (13).

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