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|Title:||Ultrasound contrast agents and methods of making and using them|
|Abstract:||Gas or air filled microbubble suspensions in aqueous phases usable as imaging contrast agents in ultrasonic echography. They contain surfactants and, optionally, hydrophilic stabilizers. The surfactants can be in the form of liposomes. The suspensions are obtained by exposing the surfactants to air or a gas before or after admixing with an aqueous phase. One can impart outstanding resistance against collapse under pressure to these gas-filled microbubbles used as contrast agents in ultrasonic echography by using as fillers gases whose solubility in water, expressed in liter of gas by liter of water under standard conditions, divided by the square root of the molecular weight does not exceed 0.003. Contrast agents with particular mixtures of gases are also disclosed that have advantageous properties.|
|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:||Sep 22, 1999|
|Claims:||1. An ultrasound contrast agent comprising an aqueous solution and phospholipid stabilized microbubbles, the phospholipid stabilized microbubbles containing gas comprising a freon wherein the gas is stabilized by phospholipids in lamellar or laminar form at the gas/liquid interface. |
2. The ultrasound contrast agent of claim 1 wherein the gas further comprises nitrogen.
3. The ultrasound contrast agent of claim 1, wherein the phospholipids comprise saturated synthetic lecithin.
4. The ultrasound contrast agent of claim 1, wherein the phospholipids comprise dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine.
5. The ultrasound contrast agent of claim 1, wherein the phospholipids comprise dipalmitoylphosphatidic acid.