The 'Diprifusor' target controlled infusion system has been developed as a standardised infusion system for the administration of propofol by target controlled infusion. A preferred set of pharmacokinetic parameters for propofol was selected using computer simulation of a known infusion scheme with pharmacokinetic parameters described in published literature. The selected model was included in a 'Diprifusor' module that was interfaced with, and later incorporated into, a computer-compatible infusion pump. Clinical trials with such systems led to guidance on appropriate target concentrations for the administration of propofol by 'Diprifusor' target controlled infusion for inclusion in drug prescribing information. Standardisation of the delivery performance (± 5%) of commercial systems has been achieved with a laboratory performance specification. Clinical studies indicate that the actual blood concentrations achieved were about 16% greater than the calculated values displayed by the system. In an individual patient, titration of the target concentration is required in the same manner as an anaesthetic vapouriser is adjusted to obtain a specific pharmacodynamic effect.