Limitation of complement activation by perfluorocarbon emulsions: Superiority of Lecithin-Emulsified Preparations

Dale E. Hammerschmidt, Gregory M. Vercellotti

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18 Scopus citations


A considerable body of evidence suggests that complement and granulocyte activation may be important in the occasional adverse reactions which occur on the administration of perfluorocarbon emulsions to patients. In an attempt to develop an emulsion which was less prone to activate complement than was the first product clinically tested, we devised an in-vitro protocol for the testing of an emulsion's ability to activate complement: emulsions were serially diluted, and were incubated with minimally-heparinized plasmas from each of several donors; the generation of C3a was assessed by commercial immunoassay. In such a system, E-Adamantane- emulsions prepared with highly-purified lecithin as the emulsifier were consistently less complement-activating than comparable emulsions prepared with Pluronic F-68- as the emulsifier. Emulsification technique seemed unimportant, and HPLC fractionation of the Pluronics identified no innocuous subfraction. Application of these findings to an animal model is underway, to see if the superiority of lecithin-based emulsions is also evident in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalBiomaterials, Artificial Cells and Artificial Organs
Issue number3 --Jan
StatePublished - Jan 1988

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Drs. Vercellotti and Hammerschmidt are supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health (USA) and the Minnesota Medical Foundation, and by a research contract with Adamantech, Inc., a division of Sun Oil Corporation.


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