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Details for Patent: 6,039,557

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Details for Patent: 6,039,557

Title: Apparatus 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:Apr 07, 1997
Application Number:08/833,489
Claims:1. An apparatus for making vesicles, comprising:

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

b) a device for shaking said container by imparting a reciprocating motion thereto so as to form vesicles, said shaking device comprising (i) an arm having a distal end to which said container is coupled, and (ii) means for pivoting said arm back and forth in first and second mutually perpendicular directions so as to reciprocate said container along an arcuate path, wherein said means for pivoting said arm comprises means for pivoting said arm at a frequency greater than approximately 2800 RPM and no greater than approximately 10,000 RPM.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said means for pivoting said arm comprises means for reciprocating said distal end of said arm at an amplitude of at least approximately 0.8 cm in said first direction.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said means for pivoting said arm further comprises means for reciprocating said distal end of said arm at an amplitude no greater than approximately 2.5 cm in said first direction.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said means for pivoting said arm comprises means for reciprocating said distal end of said arm along a path having a total length of at least approximately 0.7 cm.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the angle encompassed by said arcuate path is at least approximately 3.degree..

6. The apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the angle encompassed by said arcuate path is no greater than approximately 9.degree..

7. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the radius of curvature of said arcuate path is at least approximately 6 cm.

8. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the radius of curvature of said arcuate path is no greater than approximately 15 cm.

9. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said means for pivoting said arm further comprises means for reciprocating said distal end of said arm along a path having approximately a figure-8 pattern.

10. The apparatus according to claim 9, wherein the total length of said figure-8 pattern is at least approximately 0.7 cm.

11. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said aqueous suspension phase comprises lipids.

12. The apparatus according to claim 11, wherein said aqueous suspension phase comprises dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, dipalmitoylphosphatidic acid, and dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine.

13. The apparatus according to claim 12, wherein said gaseous phase comprises a perfluorocarbon gas.

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

15. An apparatus for making vesicles, comprising:

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

b) a shaking device for shaking said container so as to form vesicles therein, said shaking device having (i) an arm having a distal end and a length of at least approximately 6 cm, said arm being mounted so as to pivot in a first direction through a first angle of at least approximately 6.degree., (ii) means for pivoting said arm back and forth in said first direction through said first angle so that said distal end of said arm reciprocates at an amplitude of at least 0.8 cm along an arcuate path, and (iii) means for coupling said container to said arm.

16. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said vesicles comprise a monolayer.

17. The apparatus according to claim 16 wherein said monolayer comprises a phospholipid.

18. The apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said gaseous phase is selected from the group consisting of perfluoropropane, perfluorobutane, perfluoropentane, perfluorohexane, and sulfur hexafluoride.

19. The apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said gaseous phase is perfluoropentane.

20. The apparatus according to claim 17 wherein gaseous phase is sulfur hexafluoride.

21. The apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said gaseous phase is perfluoropropane.

22. The apparatus according to claim 15 wherein said vesicles comprise a monolayer.

23. The apparatus according to claim 22 wherein said monolayer comprises a phospholipid.

24. The apparatus according to claim 22 wherein said gaseous phase is selected from the group consisting of perfluoropropane, perfluorobutane, perfluoropentane, perfluorohexane, and sulfur hexafluoride.

25. The apparatus according to claim 22 wherein said monolayer comprises a phospholipid and said gaseous phase is perfluoropentane.

26. The apparatus according to claim 22 wherein said monolayer comprises a phospholipid and said gaseous phase is sulfur hexafluoride.

27. The apparatus according to claim 22 wherein said monolayer comprises a phospholipid and said gaseous phase is perfluoropropane.

28. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said vesicles comprise a polymer.

29. The apparatus according to claim 28 wherein said polymer comprises an acrylate.

30. The apparatus according to claim 29 wherein said gas is air.

31. The apparatus according to claim 28 wherein said polymer comprises a methacrylate.

32. The apparatus according to claim 31 wherein said gas is air.

33. The apparatus according to claim 15 wherein said vesicles comprise a polymer.

34. The apparatus according to claim 33 wherein said polymer comprises an acrylate.

35. The apparatus according to claim 34 wherein said gas is air.

36. The apparatus according to claim 33 wherein said polymer comprises a methacrylate.

37. The apparatus according to claim 36 wherein said gas is air.

38. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said vesicles comprise a polysaccharide.

39. The apparatus according to claim 38 wherein said polysaccharide comprises galactose.

40. The apparatus according to claim 39 wherein said gaseous phase is nitrogen.

41. The apparatus according to claim 15 wherein said vesicles comprise a polysaccharide.

42. The apparatus according to claim 41 wherein said polysaccharide comprises galactose.

43. The apparatus according to claim 42 wherein said gaseous phase is nitrogen.

44. The apparatus according to claim 11 wherein said aqueous suspension phase comprises liposomes.

45. The apparatus according to claim 44 wherein said liposomes comprise cross-linked liposomes or polymerized liposomes.

46. The apparatus according to claim 11 wherein said aqueous suspension phase further comprises polyethylene glycol.

47. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said means for pivoting said arm comprises means for reciprocating said distal end of said arm at an amplitude of at least approximately 0.02 cm in said second direction.

48. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein said arm is mounted so as to pivot in a second direction through a second angle, said second direction being perpendicular to said first direction, and wherein said pivoting means has means for pivoting said arm back and forth in said second direction through said second angle.
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