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Details for Patent: 5,656,211

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Details for Patent: 5,656,211

Title: Apparatus and method for making gas-filled vesicles of optimal size
Abstract:A method and apparatus for making vesicles suitable for use as contrast agents in which a container containing an aqueous suspension phase and a separate gas phase is shaken using reciprocating motion. The reciprocating motion is produced by a shaker arm that moves the container in two, substantially perpendicular directions, with the motion in the first direction being along an arcuate path. The overall path of the motion occurs in a figure-8 eight pattern. The frequency of shaking is at least approximately 2800 RPM, the length of the shaker arm is at least approximately 6 cm, and the angle through which the shaker arm rotates in the first direction is at least approximately 3.degree.. The total length of travel around the figure-8 pattern is at least 0.7 cm.
Inventor(s): Unger; Evan (Tucson, AZ), McCreery; Thomas (Tucson, AZ), Yellowhair; David (Tucson, AZ), Barrette; Terrence R. (Tucson, AZ)
Assignee: ImaRx Pharmaceutical Corp. (Tucson, AZ)
Filing Date:Jun 07, 1995
Application Number:08/482,294
Claims:1. A method of making vesicles, comprising the steps of:

a) placing an aqueous suspension phase and a gaseous phase substantially separate from said aqueous suspension phase in a container; and

b) shaking said container by imparting a reciprocating motion thereto until vesicles are formed.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the amplitude of said reciprocating motion is at least approximately 0.3 cm.

3. The method according to claim 2, wherein the amplitude of said reciprocating motion is no greater than approximately 2.5 cm.

4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the total length of travel of said container during said reciprocating motion is at least approximately 0.7 cm.

5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the frequency of said reciprocating motion is at least approximately 2800 RPM.

6. The method according to claim 2, wherein the frequency of said reciprocating motion is no greater than approximately 4500 RPM.

7. The method according to claim 1, wherein said reciprocating motion occurs in at least a first direction, said motion in said first direction occurring along an arcuate path.

8. The method according to claim 7, wherein the angle of rotation encompassed by said arcuate path is at least approximately 3.degree..

9. The method according to claim 8, wherein the angle encompassed by said arcuate path is no greater than approximately 9.degree..

10. The method according to claim 7, wherein the radius of curvature of said arcuate path is at least approximately 6 cm.

11. The method according to claim 10, wherein the radius of curvature of said arcuate path is no greater than approximately 15 cm.

12. The method according to claim 1, wherein said reciprocating motion comprises motion in first and second substantially perpendicular directions.

13. The method according to claim 12, wherein said reciprocating motion occurs along a path having approximately a figure-8 pattern.

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the total length of travel of said container around said figure-8 pattern is at least approximately 0.7 cm.

15. The method according to claim 1, wherein said aqueous suspension phase comprises lipids.

16. The method according to claim 15, wherein said aqueous suspension phase comprises

dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, dipalmitoylphosphatidic acid, and dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine.

17. The method according to claim 16, wherein said gaseous phase comprises a perfluorocarbon gas.

18. The method according to claim 1, wherein said gas phase initially occupies at least 10% of the volume of said container.

19. The method according to claim 1, wherein said shaking produces vesicles of which 95% are smaller than 10 .mu.m.

20. The method according to claim 19, wherein the duration of said shaking is no greater than approximately 2 minutes.

21. The method according to claim 1, wherein said shaking produces vesicles having a mean size of less than 2.5 .mu.m.

22. The method according to claim 1, wherein said container is a syringe.

23. The method according to claim 1 wherein said vesicles comprise a monolayer.

24. The method according to claim 23 wherein said monolayer comprises a phospholipid.

25. The method according to claim 24 wherein said gaseous phase is selected from the group consisting of perfluoropropane, perfluorobutane, perfluoropentane, perfluorohexane, and sulfur hexafluoride.

26. The method according to claim 24 wherein said monolayer comprises a phospholipid and said gaseous phase is perfluoropentane.

27. The method according to claim 24 wherein said monolayer comprises a phospholipid and said gaseous phase is sulfur hexafluoride.

28. The method according to claim 24 wherein said monolayer comprises a phospholipid and said gaseous phase is perfluoropropane.

29. The method according to claim 1 wherein said vesicles comprise a polymer.

30. The method according to claim 29 wherein said polymer comprises an acrylate.

31. The method according to claim 30 wherein said gas is air.

32. The method according to claim 29 wherein said polymer comprises a methacrylate.

33. The method according to claim 32 wherein said gas is air.

34. The method according to claim 1 wherein said vesicles comprise a polysaccharide.

35. The method according to claim 34 wherein said polysaccharide comprises galactose.

36. The method according to claim 35 wherein said gaseous phase is nitrogen.

37. The method according to claim 15 wherein said aqueous suspension phase comprises liposomes.

38. The method according to claim 37 wherein said liposomes comprise cross-linked liposomes or polymerized liposomes.

39. The method according to claim 15 wherein said aqueous suspension phase further comprises polyethylene glycol.
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