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Details for Patent: 6,136,293

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Details for Patent: 6,136,293

Title: Stable microbubbles suspensions containing saturated lamellar phospholipids
Abstract:Gas or air filled microbubble suspensions in aqueous phases usable as imaging contrast agents in ultrasonic echography. They contain laminarized surfactants and, optionally, hydrophilic stabilizers. The laminarized surfactants can be in the form of liposomes. The suspensions are obtained by exposing the laminarized surfactants to air or a gas before or after admixing with an aqueous phase.
Inventor(s): Schneider; Michel (Trionex, CH), Yan; Feng (Carouge, CH), Grenier, deceased; Pascal (late of Ambilly, FR), Puginier; Jerome (Le Chable-Beaumont, FR), Barrau; Marie-Bernadette (Geneve, CH), Bussat; Philippe (Fiegeres, FR), Hybl; Eva (Heidelberg, DE), Bichon; Daniel (Montpellier, FR)
Assignee: Bracco International B.V. (NL)
Filing Date:Feb 10, 1998
Application Number:09/021,150
Claims:1. A method for the preparation of an aqueous suspension of gas-filled microbubbles stabilized by film forming surfactants including phospholipids, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) selecting at least one saturated phospholipid and converting it into lamellar form in the presence of a hydrophilic stabilizer in an aqueous solution,

(b) freeze-drying the solution to produce a dry powder,

(c) contacting said powder with air or an adsorbable or entrappable gas for a time sufficient for air or gas to become bound by said phospholipid, and

(d) admixing the dry powder with an aqueous liquid carrier, whereby a stable dispersion of said air gas microbubbles in said liquid is formed.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the dry powder is admixed with the liquid carrier by gentle mixing whereby the air or gas bound to the lamellar phospholipid develops into a suspension of stable air or gas microbubbles.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the lamellar phospholipids form a monomolecular layer thereby stabilizing the air or gas microbubbles.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a hydrosoluble protein.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a polypeptide.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a polyol.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the polyol is lactose.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein the polyol is maltose.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein the polyol is galactose.

10. The method of claim 6, wherein the polyol is glucose.

11. The method of claim 6, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a poly- or oligo-saccharide.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a hydrophilic polymer.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the hydrophilic polymer is starch.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein the hydrophilic polymer is dextran.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein the hydrophilic polymer is polyvinyl alcohol.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein the hydrophilic polymer is polyvinyl-pyrrolidone.

17. The method of claim 12, wherein the hydrophilic polymer is dextrin.

18. The method of claim 12, wherein the hydrophilic polymer is xanthan.

19. The method of claim 12, wherein the hydrophilic polymer is a partly hydrolyzed cellulose oligomer.

20. The method of claim 1, wherein the conversion of the phospholipid in step (a) is effected by sonicating homogenizing under high pressure of an aqueous solution of film forming phospholipids.

21. The method of claim 1, wherein the aqueous solution to be freeze-dried contains liposomes.

22. The method of claim 1, wherein the weight ratio of the phospholipids and hydrophilic stabilizers comprised in the aqueous solution is between 1:5 and 100:1.

23. The method of claim 1, wherein the aqueous solution in step (a) further contains free fatty acids with polyoxyalkylene or esters or fatty acids with polyoxyalkylene compounds.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the polyoxyalkylene compound is polyoxypropylene glycol or polyoxyethylene glycol.
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