This technology is available from Temarex Corporation.
MICROBUBBLES AND GAS-FILLED MICROCAVITIES
Title: ARTICLES CONTAINING NATURALLY OCCURRING, GAS-FILLED MICROCAVITIES, METHODS FOR THE PRODUCTION THEREOF AND RELATED APPLICATIONS
Inventor(s): L. Ju, A. Sudararajan, S. Kashyap
Disclosure 300 U.S. Patent not yet issued
This invention involves methods of harvesting, large scale production, and application of naturally occurring gas-filled microcavities and exploiting the same as a delivery system for gases. In addition, the methods of the present invention may entail modifying the naturally occurring microbubbles and may further relate to semi-synthetic microbubbles.
This invention addresses the need to overcome (a) the shortcomings of synthetically produced microbubbles (e.g. lack of consistency of size, poor stability and mechanical strength, and are often biologically incompatible), (b) the difficulties in harvesting naturally occurring microbubbles which has prevented their commercial use and (c) utilizing such microbubbles for commercial and medical purposes in lieu of synthetic microbubbles.
Typically, the wall of the naturally occurring gas vesicle structures are quite rigid and withstand considerable hydrostatic pressure with little change in overall volume. The sizes of the reported gas vesicles range from about 340 to about 750 nm in length and about 60 to about 110 nm in width, depending on their biological sources. The submicron size of the gas vesicle and its inherent strength and stability give it a substantial advantage over synthetically produced microbubbles.
The organisms from which the gas vesicles of the present invention are obtained can be cultivated either in open waters, such as lakes and ponds, or in sterile bioreactors having well controlled process conditions. Ultimately, the intended end usage of the gas vesicles plays a significant role in the initial environment that the organism should be cultivated in.
Depending on the production type, these microbubbles have been referred to as microballons, colloidal gas aphrons (CGA), micro gas dispersions, and microfoams.
These microbubbles or gas vesicles are envisioned to be potentially useful to (a) treat mammalian cancers or tumors in conjunction with radiation therapy by increasing the local oxygen partial pressure around the tumor area, (b) used as contrast agents for diagnostic ultrasound and replace polymer-coated microbubbles with smaller microbubbles, (c) obtaining naturally occurring gas vesicles and employing them in biological or medical applications, and (d) oxygen delivery.