Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type




First Advisor

Bruce J. Heyen



Model organisms are widely used in research, especially in the context of complex situations. One model organism that has been widely used is the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster (D. mel). D. mel are most commonly used in the context of genetics, but they have also been widely used in research focusing on general anesthetics. One value that has not been measured in D. mel, however, as it relates to general anesthetics, is the decrement times. This is what was the present research set out to determine.


The anesthetics studied in this research were isoflurane and sevoflurane. Flies were exposed to 40 µL of anesthetic in a centrifuge tube for 10 minutes, after which the flies were allowed a recovery period of a set time. In the case of the control group, this time was 0 minutes. The anesthetic was then extracted using dichloromethane (DCM) and enflurane was added as an internal standard.


The decrement times of male flies with isoflurane were found to be around 30 seconds for the 50% decrement, 2 minutes for the 80%, and 3 minutes for the 90% decrement. With sevoflurane in male flies, the values were found to be around 2 minutes for the 50% decrement and 3 minutes for the 80% decrement. For female flies the values found with isoflurane were found to be about 30 seconds for the 50% decrement and 4 minutes for the 80% decrement. The values found using sevoflurane with female flies were about 5 minutes for a 50% decrement time, but the values found in female flies with sevoflurane were not consistent.


Though the data with sevoflurane were inconsistent, those collected with isoflurane give valuable insight into general anesthetics. This information can be used in future work involving drosophila flies and anesthetics in order to gain a deeper understanding of how inhalational anesthetics work.