Understanding the fundamentals of perfluorocarbons and perfluorocarbon emulsions relevant to in vivo oxygen delivery

Artif Cells Blood Substit Immobil Biotechnol. 2005;33(1):47-63. doi: 10.1081/bio-200046659.


The unique behavior of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), including their high oxygen dissolving capacity, hydrophobic and lipophobic character, and extreme inertness, derive directly, in a predictable manner, from the electronic structure and spatial requirements of the fluorine atom. Their low water solubility is key to the prolonged in vivo persistence of the now commercially available injectable microbubbles that serve as contrast agents for diagnostic ultrasound imaging. Oxygent, a stable, small-sized emulsion of a slightly lipophilic, rapidly excreted PFC, perfluorooctyl bromide (perflubron), has been engineered. Significant oxygen delivery has been established in animal models and through Phase II and III human clinical trials. However, an inappropriate testing protocol and the lack of funding led to temporary suspension of the trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Substitutes / chemistry*
  • Blood Substitutes / metabolism
  • Emulsions / chemistry
  • Emulsions / metabolism
  • Fluorocarbons / chemistry*
  • Fluorocarbons / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated
  • Oxygen / chemistry*
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology


  • Blood Substitutes
  • Emulsions
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated
  • perflubron
  • Oxygen