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Claims for Patent: 6,572,873

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Claims for Patent: 6,572,873

Title: Generation of therapeutic microfoam
Abstract:Improved therapeutic sclerosing microfoams and methods and devices for making them are provided that have advantage in producing a consistent profile injectable foam with minimal input by the physician yet using high volume percentages of blood dispersible gases, thus avoiding use of potentially hazardous amounts of nitrogen.
Inventor(s): Osman; Tariq (London, GB), Flynn; Sheila Bronwen (Nr. Stevenage, GB), Wright; David Dakin Iorwerth (High Wycombe, GB), Harman; Anthony David (Checkendon, GB), Boorman; Timothy David (Frinton on Sea, GB)
Assignee: BTG International Limited (London, GB)
Application Number:09/718,094
Patent Claims: 1. A method for producing a microfoam suitable for use in sclerotherapy of blood vessels said microfoam comprising gas bubbles in which at least 50% by number of the gas bubbles of 25 .mu.m diameter and above are of no more than 200 .mu.m diameter and at least 95% of these gas bubbles are no more than 280 .mu.m diameter, said method comprising passing a mixture of a physiologically acceptable blood dispersible gas capable of being substantially completely dissolved in or absorbed by blood and an aqueous sclerosant liquid through one or more passages having at least one cross-sectional dimension of from 0.1 to 30 .mu.m, the ratio of gas to liquid being controlled such that a microfoam is produced having a density of between 0.07 g/mL to 0.19 g/mL and has a half-life of at least 2 minutes, to produce said microfoam, said microfoam being formed without the prior step of beating with a brush.

2. A method as described in claim 1 wherein the gas/liquid ratio in the mixture is controlled such that the density of the microfoam is 0.09 g/mL to 0.16 g/mL.

3. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least 50% by number of the gas bubbles of 25 .mu.m diameter and above are of no more than 150 .mu.m diameter and at least 95% of these gas bubbles are no more than 250 .mu.m diameter.

4. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the mixture of gas and sclerosant liquid is in the form of an aerosol, dispersion of bubbles in liquid or macrofoam.

5. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the ratio of gas to liquid used in the mixture is 1 gram sclerosant liquid to form 6.25 to 14.3 volumes of gas as standard temperature and pressure.

6. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the physiologically acceptable blood dispersible gas comprises over 50% volume of carbon dioxide and/or oxygen.

7. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the aqueous sclerosant liquid is a solution of polidocanol or sodium tetradecylsulfate (STS) in an aqueous carrier.

8. A method as claimed in claim 7 wherein the carrier comprises a saline solution.

9. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cross-sectional dimension is diameter and the one or more passages through which the gas and liquid mixture are passed to produce the microfoam have diameter of from 5 .mu.m to 25 .mu.m.

10. A method as claimed in claim 9 wherein the passages are of from 10 .mu.m to 20 .mu.m diameter and are openings in a mesh or screen placed perpendicular to the direction of flow of the gas/liquid mixture.

11. A method as claimed in claim 9 wherein the passages are provided as multiple openings in one or more elements through which the mixture flows.

12. A method as claimed in claim 11 wherein the multiple openings provide a 2% to 65% open area in the one or more elements.

13. A method as claimed in claim 11 wherein the element comprises porous material and a number said elements are arranged sequentially such that the gas and liquid pass through the passages of each element.

14. A method as claimed in claim 13 wherein the elements are spaced and are placed along the direction of flow of the mixture in series.

15. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the mixture of gas and liquid is passed through the same passage or passages a number of times.

16. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the gas is pressurized to 0.01 to 9 bar over atmospheric pressure.

17. A method as claimed in claim 16 wherein the gas is pressurized at 0.1 to 3 bar over atmospheric pressure.

18. A method for producing a microfoam suitable for use in sclerotherapy of blood vessels said microfoam comprising gas bubbles in which at least 50% by number of gas bubbles of 25 .mu.m diameter and above are of no more than 200 .mu.m diameter and at least 95% of these gas bubbles are no more than 280 .mu.m diameter, said method comprising passing a mixture of a physiologically acceptable blood dispersible gas capable of being substantially completely dissolved in or absorbed by blood and an aqueous sclerosant liquid through one or more passages having at least one cross-sectional dimension of from 0.1 to 30 .mu.m, wherein said mixture of gas and sclerosant liquid is not in the form of a microfoam, the ratio of gas to liquid being controlled such that a microfoam is produced having a density of between 0.07 g/mL to 0.19 g/mL and has a half-life of at least 2 minutes, to produce said microfoam.

19. A method for producing a microfoam suitable for use in sclerotherapy of blood vessels and microfoam comprising gas bubbles in which at least 50% by number of the gas bubbles of 25 mm diameter and above are of no more than 200 mm diameter and at least 95% of these gas bubbles are no more than 280 mm diameter, said method comprising passing a mixture of a physiologically acceptable blood dispersible gas capable of being substantially completely dissolved in or absorbed by blood and an aqueous sclereosant liquid through one or more passages having at least one cross-sectional dimension of from 0.1 to 30 mm, said mixture of gas and sclerosant liquid being in the form of a dispersion of bubbles in liquid or a macrofoam, the ratio of gas to liquid being controlled such that a microfoam is produced having a density of between 0.07 g/mL to 0.19 g/mL and has a half-life of at least 2 minutes, to produce said microfoam.
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