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Details for Patent: 5,985,246

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Details for Patent: 5,985,246

Title: Contrast agents for ultrasonic imaging and methods for preparing the same
Abstract:Liposomes suitable as ultrasound contrast agents which contain media of various types including gases, gaseous precursors activated by pH, temperature or pressure, as well as other solid or liquid contrast enhancing agents, are described. Methods of using the same as ultrasound contrast agents are also disclosed. The present invention also comprises novel methods for synthesizing liposomes having encapsulated therein gases.
Inventor(s): Unger; Evan C. (Tucson, AZ)
Assignee: Imarx Pharmaceutical Corp. (Tucson, AZ)
Filing Date:Jul 08, 1997
Application Number:08/888,426
Claims:1. A method of providing an image of an internal region of a patient comprising:

(a) providing a vessel containing a solution which comprises lipid vesicles and a gaseous precursor;

(b) depressurizing said vessel to form gas bubbles within said lipid vesicles;

(c) administering to the patient said gas encapsulated lipid vesicles; and

(d) scanning the patient using ultrasound imaging to obtain visible images of the region.

2. A method according to claim 1 wherein said lipid vesicles comprise one or more lipids selected from the group consisting of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidic acid.

3. A method according to claim 1 wherein said lipid vesicles further comprise a polymer on the surface of said vesicles.

4. A method according to claim 3 wherein said polymer comprises polyethyleneglycol.

5. A method according to claim 2 wherein said lipid vesicles further comprise a polymer on the surface of said vesicles.

6. A method according to claim 5 wherein said polymer comprises polyethyleneglycol.

7. A method according to claim 1 wherein said lipid vesicles comprise liposomes.

8. A method according to claim 7 wherein said liposomes are selected from the group consisting of unilamellar liposomes, oligolamellar liposomes and multilamellar liposomes.

9. A method according to claim 8 wherein said liposomes comprise unilamellar liposomes.

10. A method according to claim 9 wherein said liposomes comprise one or more phospholipids.

11. A method according to claim 9 wherein said lipid is selected from the group consisting of cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol, lysolipids, fatty acids, sphingomyelin, glycosphingolipids, glucolipids, glycolipids, sulphatides, lipids with ether and ester-linked fatty acids and polymerizable lipids.

12. A method according to claim 11 wherein said lipid is a polymerizable lipid.

13. A method according to claim 11 wherein said liposomes further comprise polyethyleneglycol.

14. A method according to claim 8 wherein said liposomes are selected from the group consisting of oligolamellar liposomes and multilamellar liposomes.

15. A method according to claim 14 wherein said liposomes comprise one or more phospholipids.

16. A method according to claim 14 wherein said lipid is selected from the group consisting of cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol, lysolipids, fatty acids, sphingomyelin, glycosphingolipids, glucolipids, glycolipids, sulphatides, lipids with ether and ester-linked fatty acids and polymerizable lipids.

17. A method according to claim 16 wherein said lipid is a polymerizable lipid.

18. A method according to claim 16 wherein said liposomes further comprise polyethyleneglycol.

19. A method according to claim 1 wherein said lipid in said vesicles is selected from one or more phospholipids.

20. A method according to claim 1 wherein said lipid is selected from the group consisting of cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol, lysolipids, fatty acids, sphingomyelin, glycosphingolipids, glucolipids, glycolipids, sulphatides, lipids with ether and ester-linked fatty acids and polymerizable lipids.

21. A method according to claim 20 wherein said lipid is a polymerizable lipid.

22. A method according to claim 20 wherein said lipid further comprises polyethyleneglycol.

23. A method for diagnosing the presence of diseased tissue in a patient comprising:

(a) providing a vessel containing a solution which comprises lipid vesicles and a gaseous precursor;

(b) depressurizing said vessel to form gas bubbles within said lipid vesicles;

(c) administering to the patient said gas encapsulated lipid vesicles; and

(d) scanning the patient using ultrasound imaging to obtain visible images of any diseased tissue in the patient.

24. A method according to claim 23 wherein said lipid vesicles comprise one or more lipids selected from the group consisting of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidic acid.

25. A method according to claim 23 wherein said lipid vesicles further comprise a polymer on the surface of said vesicles.

26. A method according to claim 25 wherein said polymer comprises polyethyleneglycol.

27. A method according to claim 24 wherein said lipid vesicles further comprise a polymer on the surface of said vesicles.

28. A method according to claim 27 wherein said polymer comprises polyethyleneglycol.

29. A method according to claim 23 wherein said lipid vesicles comprise liposomes.

30. A method according to claim 29 wherein said liposomes are selected from the group consisting of unilamellar liposomes, oligolamellar liposomes and multilamellar liposomes.

31. A method according to claim 30 wherein said liposomes comprise unilamellar liposomes.

32. A method according to claim 31 wherein said liposomes comprise one or more phospholipids.

33. A method according to claim 31 wherein said lipid is selected from the group consisting of cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol, lysolipids, fatty acids, sphingomyelin, glycosphingolipids, glucolipids, glycolipids, sulphatides, lipids with ether and ester-linked fatty acids and polymerizable lipids.

34. A method according to claim 33 wherein said lipid is a polymerizable lipid.

35. A method according to claim 33 wherein said liposomes further comprise polyethyleneglycol.

36. A method according to claim 30 wherein said liposomes are selected from the group consisting of oligolamellar liposomes and mutltilamellar liposomes.

37. A method according to claim 36 wherein said liposomes comprise one or more phospholipids.

38. A method according to claim 36 wherein said lipid is selected from the group consisting of cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol, lysolipids, fatty acids, sphingomyelin, glycosphingolipids, glucolipids, glycolipids, sulphatides, lipids with ether and ester-linked fatty acids and polymerizable lipids.

39. A method according to claim 38 wherein said lipid is a polymerizable lipid.

40. A method according to claim 38 wherein said liposomes further comprise polyethyleneglycol.

41. A method according to claim 23 wherein said lipid in said vesicles is selected from one or more phospholipids.

42. A method according to claim 23 wherein said lipid is selected from the group consisting of cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol, lysolipids, fatty acids, sphingomyelin, glycosphingolipids, glucolipids, glycolipids, sulphatides, lipids with ether and ester-linked fatty acids and polymerizable lipids.

43. A method according to claim 42 wherein said lipid is a polymerizable lipid.

44. A method according to claim 42 wherein said lipid further comprises polyethyleneglycol.

45. A method for the preparation of a lipid vesicle having encapsulated therein a gas comprising:

(a) providing a vessel containing a solution which comprises lipid vesicles and a gaseous precursor; and

(b) depressurizing said vessel to form gas bubbles within said lipid vesicles.

46. A method according to claim 45 which comprises one or more lipids selected from the group consisting of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidic acid.

47. A method according to claim 46 wherein said lipid vesicle further comprises a polymer on the surface of said vesicle.

48. A method according to claim 47 wherein said polymer comprises polyethyleneglycol.

49. A method according to claim 45 wherein said lipid vesicle further comprises a polymer on the surface of said vesicle.

50. A method according to claim 49 wherein said polymer comprises polyethyleneglycol.

51. A method according to claim 45 wherein said lipid vesicle comprises liposomes.

52. A method according to claim 51 wherein said liposomes are selected from the group consisting of unilamellar liposomes, oligolamellar liposomes and multilamellar liposomes.

53. A method according to claim 52 wherein said liposomes comprise unilamellar liposomes.

54. A method according to claim 53 wherein said liposomes comprise one or more phospholipids.

55. A method according to claim 53 wherein said lipid is selected from the group consisting of cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol, lysolipids, fatty acids, sphingomyelin, glycosphingolipids, glucolipids, glycolipids, sulphatides, lipids with ether and ester-linked fatty acids and polymerizable lipids.

56. A method according to claim 55 wherein said lipid is a polymerizable lipid.

57. A method according to claim 55 wherein said liposomes further comprise polyethyleneglycol.

58. A method according to claim 52 wherein said liposomes are selected from the group consisting of oligolamellar liposomes and multilamellar liposomes.

59. A method according to claim 58 wherein said liposomes comprise one or more phospholipids.

60. A method according to claim 58 wherein said lipid is selected from the group consisting of cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol, lysolipids, fatty acids, sphingomyelin, glycosphingolipids, glucolipids, glycolipids, sulphatides, lipids with ether and ester-linked fatty acids and polymerizable lipids.

61. A method according to claim 60 wherein said lipid is a polymerizable lipid.

62. A method according to claim 60 wherein said liposomes further comprise polyethyleneglycol.

63. A method according to claim 45 wherein said lipid in said vesicle is selected from one or more phospholipids.

64. A method according to claim 45 wherein said lipid is selected from the group consisting of cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol, lysolipids, fatty acids, sphingomyelin, glycosphingolipids, glucolipids, glycolipids, sulphatides, lipids with ether and ester-linked fatty acids and polymerizable lipids.

65. A method according to claim 64 wherein said lipid is a polymerizable lipid.

66. A method according to claim 45 wherein said vesicle further comprises polyethyleneglycol.

67. A method according to claim 1 wherein said solution contained in said vessel is solvent-free.

68. A method according to claim 23 wherein said solution contained in said vessel is solvent-free.

69. A method according to claim 45 wherein said solution contained in said vessel is solvent-free.
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