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Automatic liquid injection system and method

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Automatic liquid injection system and method

A power assisted method and injector device for controllably delivering to patients a dispersion medicament or diagnostically active agent, the homogeneity of which is preserved throughout delivery. Diagnostically active agents disclosed are gas microbubble suspensions useful in ultrasonic diagnostic imaging and liposomal formulations in which liposome vesicles are loaded with iodinated compounds.
Related Terms: Liposomal Liquid Injection System Vesicles

Browse recent Bracco Research S.a. patents - Plan-les-ouates (geneva), CH
Inventors: Michel Schneider, Christophe Golay, Laurent Jakob, Jean Brochot, Feng Yan, Christian Mathieu
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120265065 - Class: 600432 (USPTO) - 10/18/12 - Class 600 
Surgery > Diagnostic Testing >Detecting Nuclear, Electromagnetic, Or Ultrasonic Radiation >Detectable Material Placed In Body >Piston-type Ram Forces Material Into Body

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120265065, Automatic liquid injection system and method.

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The present invention concerns the administration by injection to patients of liquid compositions for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes. It more particularly concerns a power assisted method and device for controllably dispensing a liquid medicament or diagnostically active contrast agent, the homogeneity of which is preserved throughout delivery. Typically, the contrast agent is an aqueous suspension of gas filled microvesicles, namely microbubbles bounded by a surfactant stabilized gas/liquid interface, or microballoons bounded by a tangible material envelope.


Power injectors and mechanically assisted infusion systems for controllably dispensing therapeutically active medications are well known in the art. Typically, such devices include an automatic injector for syringes containing an injectable liquid and a plunger or piston movable within the barrel of the syringe to expel said liquid through a tip thereof and injecting into a patient via a tubing connected to an injecting needle or catheter. For controlling the injections parameters, the plunger is driven by means of an electromechanical arrangement organised to push the plunger at a desired rate, continuously or at chosen intervals, so that the amount of medication is delivered to the patient\'s body under strictly determined conditions. For instance, in the case of intravenous dispensing contrast agent formulations for diagnostic purposes (X-ray, MRI or ultrasound), the rate and the mode of injection can be accurately controlled to match the requirements of the imaging methods and detector systems used to investigate the circulation or a specific organ in the body. Typical automated injection devices are illustrated and described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,176,646 incorporated herein by reference.

Although the automated injectors known are highly sophisticated instruments capable of mastering most injection problems experienced in practice, there remains at least one variable factor not yet under control. Indeed the known power injectors have no control of the homogeneity of the liquid stored within the syringe barrel during the course of its application. This kind of problem is of course non-existent with “true solutions” (i.e. solutions to the molecular level) since in this case no concentration change can occur in the course of time; it however may become important when the injectable formulation is a suspension or dispersion of active particles which tend to settle, coalesce or segregate with time in the syringe. Indeed, even some modest separation of the particles by gravity or otherwise from the carrier liquid in the course of administration of the formulation may have very important influence on reproducibility and reliability of the tests. Hence, in this case, a method and means to keep the syringe content homogeneous during injection is highly desirable. The present method and device constitute a very effective solution to the aforediscussed problem.



Briefly stated, in order to secure homogeneity of a liquid suspension of particles within the barrel of an injector device, the invention provides a method and means whereby the particles are kept under sufficient agitation so as not to settle, segregate or agglomerate in the carrier liquid. This may involve acting on the carrier liquid itself, i.e. on the bulk of the suspension, or may involve acting only on the particles (in this case, one would expect the moving particles to impart motion to the carrier liquid by viscous friction). The agitation means may be provided within the syringe or in some cases outside thereof; for instance with magnetic particles, the particles can be subjected to an external variable magnetic field, the oscillation or rotation of which will set them into motion, the moving particles then acting on the carrier liquid and keeping the suspension homogeneous.

In the case of particles not sensitive to external fields, mechanical agitation is provided to the extent that it is sufficient to keep the suspension homogeneous but insufficient to break or damage the particles or disturb their distribution. For this, the syringe barrel may be subjected to motion, said motion being continuous or discontinuous, regular or irregular; the motion can possibly have a shaking, rocking or oscillating effect on the syringe. The frequency, intensity and rate of the motion is such that it will not interfere with the control of delivery parameters of the suspension.

The embodiments disclosed below in connection with the annexed drawings provides very effective means to keep the syringe content under sufficient agitation to secure injection of a homogeneous therapeutic or diagnostic liquid compositions into a patient.


FIG. 1 is a schematic view in perspective of a device for agitating a liquid within the syringe of a power driven automatic injector system of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a graph illustrating the homogeneity variations in a suspension of microbubbles contained in a syringe, the latter being either still or subjected to motion according to the invention.

FIG. 3 is a graph illustrating the gas volume and in vitro intensity of samples with and without treatment according to the invention.

FIG. 4a is a schematic view in perspective of another device for agitating a liquid within the syringe of a power driven automatic injector system of the invention. In this embodiment, the syringe is held by a supporting bracket, the latter being driven into motion by a motor.

FIG. 4b is a schematical sectional view of the motor driving means of the embodiment of FIG. 4a.



The device represented schematically in FIG. 1 comprises a series of co-operating elements mounted on a board 1. Such schematic representation of the present device is only for clarity and better understanding of the device\'s operation. Obviously, in its actual commercial construction, the device is in the form of a much more compact and sophisticated apparatus, for instance in the form of an instrument like the Perfusor® fm of the Firm BRAUN Meslungen AG, D-34209, Meslungen, Germany (displayed in Publication B.03.01.95 No 0879 0744), or like the apparatuses disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,652,260 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,176,502, both being incorporated herein by reference.

The present device comprises the following working components: a syringe 2 shown in an uplifted position, an automatic power driving unit 3 for acting on the syringe, a pair of syringe motioning units 4 for liquid agitation, and a control box 14 for controlling operation of the units 4.

The syringe 2 has a barrel 5, a plunger 6 sliding in the barrel and a tip connector 7 linked to a tubing 8, the latter leading to an injection needle 9. The needle 9 is for injecting an administrable liquid into the tissues or the circulation of a patient.

The power driving unit 3 has an electromechanically controlled pusher rod 10 for acting on the rear end 11 of the syringe plunger, and a control knob 12 for setting the automatic driving parameters that will rule the action of the rod 10.

Each unit 4 is equipped with two rollers 13, themselves driven into rotation by electric motors within the units and not represented in the drawing. The rotation of the rollers 13 is governed by means of a box 14 via lead wires 15 connected to said motors.

In operation, an injectable carrier liquid with particles (e.g. gas-filled microballoons) in suspension is introduced into the barrel 5 of the syringe 2 through the tip 7, this being consecutive to the retraction (manual or mechanical) of the plunger 6, so that an adequate pumping action is provided. Then the syringe is placed on the rollers 13, so that the flange 16 thereof abuts the roller\'s edge 17, this being for retaining the syringe in its relative position against unwanted longitudinal translation. In this situation, the pushing rod 10 of the driving unit 3 couples with the plunger\'s end 11, so that any forward displacement of the rod 10 is transferred to the plunger with consequent expelling of the liquid toward the needle 9 for injection.

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Application #
US 20120265065 A1
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Liquid Injection System

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