The specific properties of fluorocarbons, exceptional chemical and biological inertness, high gas-dissolving capacity, low surface tension, excellent spreading characteristics and high fluidity, have triggered numerous applications of these compounds in oxygen delivery. An injectable emulsion of fluorocarbon-in-water destined to deliver oxygen to tissues at risk of hypoxia has now completed Phase III clinical trials in Europe. A neat fluorocarbon is currently investigated in Phase II for treatment of acute respiratory failure by liquid ventilation. Fluorinated lipids and fluorinated surfactants can be used to elaborate and stabilize various colloidal systems, including different types of emulsions, vesicles and tubules, that also show promise for controlled release drug delivery. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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