Simultaneous analysis of families of sigmoidal curves: application to bioassay, radioligand assay, and physiological dose-response curves

Am J Physiol. 1978 Aug;235(2):E97-102. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1978.235.2.E97.


Physiological and pharmacological studies of hormones, drugs, and neurotransmitters often generate families of sigmoidal dose-response curves. Optimally efficient data analysis should involve simultaneous description of all curves, rather than fitting each one individually. We have developed a general computerized method to describe the dose-response curves in terms of basal and maximal responses, ED50, and curve shape or steepness. This facile method permits rigorous statistical analysis, provides a basis for pooling of information from separate experiments, and allows one to test which characteristics are shared by various curves.

MeSH terms

  • Binding, Competitive
  • Biological Assay
  • Computers*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Statistics as Topic