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Details for Patent: 6,881,397

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Details for Patent: 6,881,397

Title: Long-lasting aqueous dispersions or suspensions of pressure-resistant gas-filled microvesicles and methods for the preparation thereof
Abstract:One can impart outstanding resistance against collapse under pressure to gas-filled microvesicle 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.
Inventor(s): Schneider; Michel (Trolnex, CH), Yan; Feng (Geneva, CH), Grenier; Pascal (late of Ambilly, FR), Garcel; Nadine (Segny, FR), Puginier; Jerome (Valliery, FR), Barrau; Marie-Bernadette (Geneva, CH)
Assignee: Bracco International B.V. (Amsterdam, NL)
Filing Date:Feb 04, 2002
Application Number:10/061,299
Claims:1. A method of making an ultrasonic contrast agent with an improved resistance to pressure variations, the method comprising the steps of (a) under an atmosphere of a first gas, forming microvesicles from dry precursors thereof in an aqueous carrier phase, the microvesicles being microbubbles bounded by a gas/liquid closed interfacial surface, and thereafter (b) replacing the gas contained within the microvesicles with a physiologically acceptable gas or gas mixture, at least a portion thereof being halogenated hydrocarbon gas whose ratio of solubility in water expressed in liters of gas by liter of water under standard conditions divided by the square root of the molecular weight in daltons is below 0.0027.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is CBrF.sub.3.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is CClF.sub.3.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is C.sub.2 ClF.sub.5.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is CBrClF.sub.2.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is C.sub.2 Cl.sub.2 F.sub.4.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is CF.sub.4.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is C.sub.2 F.sub.6.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is C.sub.4 F.sub.8.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is C.sub.4 F.sub.10.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the halogenated hydrocarbon gas is a freon.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the gas mixture contains air.

13. The method of claim 1, wherein the gas mixture contains nitrogen.

14. The method of claim 1, wherein the gas mixture contains carbon dioxide.

15. The method of claim 1, wherein the aqueous phase carrying the microbubbles contains dissolved film-forming surfactants, said surfactants stabilizing the microbubbles boundary at the gas to liquid interface.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein said surfactants comprise one or more phospholipids in laminar or lamellar form.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein said surfactants further comprise polyoxyethylene-polyoxypropylene copolymer.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein at least part of the phospholipids are in the form of liposomes.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein at least one of the phospholipids is a diacylphosphatidyl compound wherein the acyl group is a C.sub.16 fatty acid residue or a higher homologue thereof.

20. The method of claim 1, wherein the microvesicles are filled with said physiologically acceptable gas or gas mixture by alternatively subjecting dry precursors thereof to reduced pressure and restoring the pressure with said physiologically acceptable gas or gas mixture, and finally dispersing the precursors in a liquid carrier.

21. The method of claim 1, wherein the microvesicles are made under an atmosphere composed at least in part of said physiologically acceptable gas.

22. The method of claim 1, wherein the microvesicles are microbubbles bounded by an evanescent gas/liquid interfacial closed surface made from dissolved lamellar or laminar phospholipids.

23. The method of claim 1, wherein the liquid carrier phase further contains stabilizers.

24. The method according to claim 1, wherein the gas mixture contains C.sub.4 F.sub.10 and air.

25. A method of making an ultrasonic contrast agent with an improved resistance to pressure variations, the method comprising the steps of (a) under an atmosphere of a first gas, forming microvesicles from dry precursors thereof in an aqueous carrier phase, the microvesicles being microbubbles bounded by a gas/liquid closed interfacial surface, and thereafter (b) replacing the gas contained within the microvesicles with a physiologically acceptable gas or gas mixture, at least a portion thereof being SF.sub.6.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein the aqueous phase carrying the microbubbles contains dissolved film-forming surfactants, said surfactants stabilizing the microbubbles boundary at the gas to liquid interface, wherein said surfactants comprise one or more phospholipids in laminar or lamellar form.
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