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Details for Patent: 6,485,705

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Details for Patent: 6,485,705

Title: Mixable combination for generating a suspension of stable microbubbles for ultrasonic imaging
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 (Troinex, CH), Yan; Feng (Carouge, CH), Grenier; Pascal (late of Ambilly, FR), Puginier; Jerome (Le Chable-Beaumont, FR), Barrau; Marie-Bernadette (Geneve, CH), Bussat; Philippe (Feigeres, FR), Hybl; Eva (Heidelberg, DE), Bichon; Daniel (Montpellier, FR)
Assignee: Bracco International B.V. (Amsterdam, NL)
Filing Date:Aug 01, 2000
Application Number:09/630,537
Claims:1. A mixable combination for generating a suspension of stable microbubbles for use in ultrasonic imaging, said combination comprising: (a) a dry pulverulent formulation comprising at least one film forming surfactant and a hydrophilic stabilizer in the presence of air or other entrappable gas, the film forming surfactant being a saturated phospholipid in lamellar or laminar form and capable of generating a suspension of stabilized air or gas microbubbles when brought into contact with an aqueous carrier phase; and (b) an aqueous carrier phase mixable with said dry formulation, said dry formulation and said aqueous carrier phase being mixable with each other to produce said suspension of stable microbubbles.

2. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the saturated phospholipid is selected from the group consisting of phosphatidic acid, phosphatidyl-choline, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidyl-glycerol, phosphatidylinositol, cardiolipin and sphyngomyelin.

3. The mixable combination of claim 2, wherein the formulation further contains a substance selected from the group consisting of dicetylphosphate, cholesterol, ergosterol, phytosterol, sitosterol, lanosterol, tocopterol, propyl gallate, ascorbyl palmitate and butylated hydroxy-toluene.

4. The mixable combination of claim 1, further containing dissolved viscosity enhancers or stabilizers selected from linear and cross-linked poly- and oligo-saccharides, sugars, hydrophilic polymers and iodinated X-ray contrast agents in a weight ratio to the surfactants comprised between about 1:5 to 100:1.

5. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the formulation comprises up to 50% by weight of non-laminar surfactants selected from the group consisting from fatty acids, esters and ethers of fatty acids and alcohols with polyols, polyalkylene.

6. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a hydrosoluble protein.

7. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a polypeptide.

8. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a sugar.

9. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a poly- or oligo-saccharide.

10. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the hydrophilic stabilizer is a hydrophilic polymer.

11. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the dry pulverulent formulation comprises freeze-dried liposomes.

12. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the size of most microbubbles is below 50 .mu.m.

13. The mixable combination of claim 12, wherein the size of most microbubbles is below 10 .mu.m.

14. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the suspension contains about 10.sup.8 -10.sup.9 bubbles of 0.5-10 .mu.m size/ml.

15. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the entrappable gas is nitrogen or carbon dioxide.

16. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the entrappable gas is argon or methane.

17. The mixable combination of claim 1, wherein the entrappable gas is .sup.81 krypton or .sup.133 xenon.
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