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Publication numberUS20060213783 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/085,924
Publication dateSep 28, 2006
Filing dateMar 22, 2005
Priority dateMar 22, 2005
Also published asCA2602677A1, CN101252853A, EP1887904A2, WO2006102384A2, WO2006102384A3
Publication number085924, 11085924, US 2006/0213783 A1, US 2006/213783 A1, US 20060213783 A1, US 20060213783A1, US 2006213783 A1, US 2006213783A1, US-A1-20060213783, US-A1-2006213783, US2006/0213783A1, US2006/213783A1, US20060213783 A1, US20060213783A1, US2006213783 A1, US2006213783A1
InventorsMichael Tokarski, James Peck, Edward Dzwill, George Brock, Roger Smith, Michael Ulrich, Stephen Grimes, Jan Yates
Original AssigneeMichael Tokarski, James Peck, Edward Dzwill, George Brock, Smith Roger W, Ulrich Michael S, Grimes Stephen L, Yates Jan B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ophthalmic lens package
US 20060213783 A1
Abstract
An ophthalmic lens package includes a pair of shell members that are removably attached to each other and a pair of absorbent members sandwiched therebetween. The shell members are connected to each other by a hinge at one of their ends, and are pivotable relative to each other about the hinge between a closed position, in which the shell members are attached to each other, and an open position.
Images(4)
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Claims(20)
1. An ophthalmic lens package, comprising a first shell member having a first end and a second end; a second shell member having a first end and a second end, said first and second shell members being pivotable relative to each other between a closed position, in which said first and second shell members are removably attached to each other, and an open position, in which said first and second shell members are pivoted away from each other; a connecting means for connecting said first and second members at their said first ends; and a receptacle interposed between said first and second shell members while they are in their said closed position, said receptacle being adapted to receive and house an ophthalmic lens and an amount of solution.
2. The package of claim 1, wherein said first end of said first shell member is opposite said second end of said first shell member and said first end of said second shell member is opposite said second end of said second shell member.
3. The package of claim 1, further comprising means for separating said first and second shell members from each other and for pivoting them from their said closed position to their said open position.
4. The package of claim 3, wherein said separating means includes a first tab extending from said second end of said first shell member and a second tab extending from said second end of said second shell member, said first and second tabs being juxtaposed with one another when said first and second shell members are in their said closed position.
5. The package of claim 4, further comprising a first plurality of bumps protruding from an exposed surface of said first tab and a second plurality of bumps protruding from an exposed surface of said second tab, said first and second plurality of bumps being sized and shaped so as to enable manual grasping of said juxtaposed tabs.
6. The package of claim 5, wherein said first tab includes at least one band extending across an inner surface of said first tab opposite said exposed surface thereof, and said second tab includes at least one groove extending across an inner surface of said second tab opposite said exposed surface thereof, said at least one band being sized, shaped and positioned so as to interlock with said at least one groove when said first and second tabs are juxtaposed with one another.
7. The package of claim 1, wherein said connecting means includes a hinge formed integrally with said first and second shell members.
8. The package of claim 1, wherein each of said first and second shell members includes a cavity and an annular flange that extends around the periphery of said cavity, said first and second shell members being removably attached to each other at said flanges.
9. The package of claim 8, wherein said receptacle includes a first absorbent member fitted within said first shell member and a second absorbent member fitted within said second shell member, each of said first and second absorbent members having a recess, said recesses forming a chamber for housing an ophthalmic lens and an amount of solution when said first and second shell members are in their said closed position.
10. The package of claim 9, wherein said first absorbent member is fitted within and attached to an inner surface of said cavity of said first shell member.
11. The package of claim 9, wherein said second absorbent member is fitted within and attached to an inner surface of said cavity of said second shell member.
12. The package of claim 9 wherein said first absorbent member is fitted within and attached to an inner surface of said cavity of said first shell member and said second absorbent member is fitted within and attached to an inner surface of said cavity of said second shell member.
13. The package of claim 8, wherein said receptacle includes an absorbent member having a first surface attached to said cavity of said first shell member, a second surface attached to said cavity of said second shell member, and a chamber for housing an ophthalmic lens and an amount of solution when said first and second shell members are in their said closed position, said absorbent member being capable of splitting apart when said first and second shell members pivot from their said closed position to their said open position, thereby opening said chamber and exposing the ophthalmic lens.
14. The package of claim 12 further comprising a contact lens and about 500 μL to about 1500 μL of solution.
15. The package of claim 14, further comprising means for separating said first and second shell members from each other and for pivoting them from their said closed position to their said open position.
16. The package claim 15, wherein said separating means includes a first tab extending from said second end of said first shell member and a second tab extending from said second end of said second shell member, said first and second tabs being juxtaposed with one another when said first and second shell members are in their said closed position.
17. The package claim 16, further comprising a first plurality of bumps protruding from an exposed surface of said first tab and a second plurality of bumps protruding from an exposed surface of said second tab, said first and second plurality of bumps being sized and shaped so as to enable manual grasping of said juxtaposed tabs.
18. The package of claim 17, wherein said first tab includes at least one band extending across an inner surface of said first tab opposite said exposed surface thereof, and said second tab includes at least one groove extending across an inner surface of said second tab opposite said exposed surface thereof, said at least one band being sized, shaped and positioned so as to interlock with said at least one groove when said first and second tabs are juxtaposed with one another.
19. The package of claim 12, wherein said connecting means includes a hinge formed integrally with said first and second shell members.
20. The package of claim 12, wherein each of said first and second shell members includes a cavity and an annular flange that extends around the periphery of said cavity, said first and second shell members being removably attached to each other at said flanges.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to an ophthalmic lens package and, more particularly, to an ophthalmic lens package adapted for improved accessibility to the contents thereof.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Ophthalmic lenses, including contact lenses, intra-ocular lenses and overlay lenses and particularly disposable contact lenses, have been conventionally packaged in “blister packs.” In general, a blister pack comprises a rigid plastic (e.g., polypropylene), concave-shaped receptacle for receiving an ophthalmic lens and a flexible cover, typically made from a laminate material (such as metal foil), which is removably attached to the receptacle for enclosing the lens therein. Within each blister pack are a single ophthalmic lens and a sufficient amount of contact lens solution to prevent drying of the ophthalmic lens and to maintain the ophthalmic lens readily available for use. While conventional blister packs provide many users with a convenient means for shipping and storing ophthalmic lenses, some users have difficulty grasping the cover portion of the blister package and are frustrated by the process. This frustration can encourage those users to use sharp instruments to open their packages which can damage both the user and the lens. Accordingly, there is a need for an ophthalmic lens package that provides easy access to its contents (i.e., contact lens and contact lens solution) on a consistent basis.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0003]
    For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following detailed description of an exemplary embodiment considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • [0004]
    FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a contact lens package constructed in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention in a closed position;
  • [0005]
    FIG. 2 is a top elevational view of the contact lens package of FIG. 1;
  • [0006]
    FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view, taken along section line 3-3 and looking in the direction of the arrows, of the contact lens package shown in FIG. 1; and
  • [0007]
    FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of the contact lens package shown in FIG. 1 in an open position.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    The invention includes an ophthalmic lens package, comprising a first shell member having a first end and a second end; a second shell member having a first end and a second end, said first and second shell members being pivotable relative to each other between a closed position, in which said first and second shell members are removably attached to each other, and an open position, in which said first and second shell members are pivoted away from each other; a connecting means for connecting said first and second members at their said first ends; and a receptacle interposed between said first and second shell members while they are in their said closed position, said receptacle being adapted to receive and house an ophthalmic lens and an amount of solution. As used herein, “ophthalmic lens” refer to a device that resides on the eye, including but not limited to soft contact, lenses, hard contact lenses, intraocular lenses, overlay lenses, preferably soft contact lenses.
  • [0009]
    Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, a contact lens package 10 includes a pair of shell members 12, 14 and a pair of semi-spherical-shaped absorbent members 16, 18. The functions of the shell members 12, 14 and the absorbent members 16, 18 shall be described hereinafter. The shell member 12 includes a circular-shaped body 20 and a semi-circular-shaped tab 22 that radially extends from the body 20, thereby forming a pear shape. Similarly, the shell member 14 includes a circular-shaped body 24 and a semi-circular-shaped tab 26 that radially extends from the body 24, thereby forming a pear shape. Preferably, the shell members 12, 14 are identical in size and shape to each other. The tabs 22, 26 are juxtaposed with one another when the shell members 12, 14 are attached to each other (i.e., when the package 10 is in a closed position), which will be described in more detail hereinafter. Also, the functions of the tabs 22, 26 shall be described hereinafter.
  • [0010]
    Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, the body 20 of the shell member 12 includes a circular-shaped, concave cavity 28 and an annular flange 30 that extends around the periphery of the body 20 (see FIG. 4). Similarly, the body 24 of the shell member 14 includes a circular-shaped, concave cavity 32 and an annular flange 34 that extends around the periphery of the body 24. The shell members 12, 14 are removably attached to each other at the flanges 30, 34, preferably by heat sealing. Alternatively, other attachment means, such as adhesives, induction sealing or sonic welding, may be utilized to attach the shell members 12, 14 to each other at their flanges 30, 34. An impermeable seal (not shown in the Figures) is formed between the flanges 30, 34 in order to prevent the loss or evaporation of the solution from the package 10 and to prevent contamination of the contents thereof from foreign objects such as debris and dirt particles. The flange 30 is truncated at an end 36 of the body 20, while the flange 34 is truncated at an end 38 of the body 24, thereby forming a living hinge 40. The function of the hinge 40 shall be described hereinafter. As depicted ends 36 and 38 are opposite tabs 22 and 26, respectively and that is the preferred location of the ends 36 and 38. However the invention contemplates positioning ends 36 and 38 in other positions on flanges 30 and 34
  • [0011]
    Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the tab 22 of the shell member 12 includes a plurality of circular-shaped bumps 42, each of which protrudes from an outer surface 44 of the tab 22. Similarly, the tab 26 of the shell member 14 includes a plurality of circular-shaped bumps 46, each of which protrudes from an outer surface 48 of the tab 26. Preferably, the pattern of the bumps 42 is congruent with the pattern of the bumps when the tabs 22, 26 are juxtaposed with one another. The functions of the bumps 42, 46 shall be described hereinafter. Alternatively, the package 10 need not include the bumps 42, 46.
  • [0012]
    Referring now to FIG. 4, the tab 22 includes a pair of arc-shaped, convex bands 50, 52 each of which transversely extends across an inner surface 54 of the tab 22. The tab 26 includes a pair of arc-shaped, concave grooves 56, 58 each of which transversely extends across an inner surface 60 of the tab 26. The band 50 and the groove 56 are sized and shaped to interlock with one another when the tabs 22, 26 are juxtaposed with one another. Similarly, the band 52 and the groove 58 are sized and shaped to interlock with one another when the tabs 22, 26 are juxtaposed with one another. Preferably, the band 50 and the groove 56 are maintained in an interlocking configuration by heat sealing. Similarly, the band 52 and the groove 56 are maintained in an interlocking configuration by heat sealing. Alternatively, other attachment means, such as adhesives, induction sealing or sonic welding, may be utilized. Preferably, the tab 22 includes the two bands 50, 52, but it may include a greater of lesser number than two. Similarly, the tab 26, preferably, includes the two grooves 56, 58, but it may include a greater or lesser number than two. Alternatively, the package 10 need not include the bands 50, 52 and the grooves 56, 58.
  • [0013]
    Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the absorbent member 16 is positioned within the cavity 28, while the absorbent member 18 is positioned within the cavity 32. Preferably, the size and shape of the absorbent member 16 are substantially similar to the size and shape of the cavity 28 in order to allow the absorbent member 16 to firmly fit therein. Similarly, the size and shape of the absorbent member 18 are, preferably, substantially similar to the size and shape of the cavity 32 in order to allow the absorbent member 18 to firmly fit therein. It is also noted that the size and shape of each of the absorbent members 16, 18 maintains the shape of the package 10. In particular, the absorbent member 16 maintains the size and shape of the body 20 of the shell member 12, while the absorbent member 18 maintains the size and shape of the body 24 of the shell member 14. The absorbent member 16 is attached to an inner surface 62 of the cavity 28, preferably by an adhesive known in the art. Similarly, the absorbent member 18 is attached to an inner surface 64 of the cavity 32, preferably by an adhesive known in the art. Alternatively, each of the absorbent members 16, 18 need not be attached to respective cavities 28, 32. Preferably, the absorbent members 16, 18 are separate and distinct. Alternatively, the package 10 may include a single frangible absorbent member (not shown in the Figures) which will be described in more detail hereinafter.
  • [0014]
    Still referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the absorbent member 16 includes a circular-shaped recess 66 centrally formed in an exposed surface 68 thereof. Similarly, the absorbent member 18 includes a circular shaped recess 70 centrally formed in an exposed surface 72 thereof. When the shell members 12, 14 are attached to each other (i.e., when the package 10 is in a closed position), the recesses 66, 70 form a central chamber 74 (see FIG. 3) which houses a contact lens 76 (see FIG. 4). The absorbent members 16, 18 are saturated with contact lens solution (not shown in the Figures), which can be any known solution useful for storing contact lenses, such as saline solution, water or buffered aqueous solutions, thereby keeping the contact lens 76 saturated. It is preferred that the solution is an aqueous saline solution. The chamber 74 may be partially or fully filled with contact lens solution (not shown in the Figures). It is noted that the preferred interior volume of the chamber 74 is one that is sufficient to house the contact lens 76 and enough contact lens solution to keep it saturated and retain the intended shape and softness of the lens 76 (i.e., a convex-shape).
  • [0015]
    While the body 20 and the cavity 28 of the shell member 12 and the body 24 and the cavity 32 of the shell member 14 are each preferably semi-circular in shape, it should be noted that each can consist of other shapes and sizes. Also, each of the tabs 22, 26 is, preferably, semi-circular in shape, but each can consist of other shapes and sizes. Similarly, each of the absorbent members 16, 18 is, preferably, semi-circular in shape, but it can consist of other shapes and sizes. Also, each of the recesses 66, 70 of the absorbent member 16, 18 is, preferably, circular in shape, but each can consist of other shapes and sizes.
  • [0016]
    The shell members 12, 14 are each, preferably, manufactured from a foil/polymer laminate or coextrusion, comprising a metal layer, such as aluminum, and a polymer layer, such as polypropylene, coating the metal layer. Alternatively, the shell members 12, 14 can be manufactured from other materials, such as a combination of polymers with various barrier and sealing characteristics formed into a laminate or coextrusion. Each of the absorbent members 16, 18 is preferably manufactured from an absorbent sponge material, such as MEROCELŪ brand polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) sponge, manufactured by Medtronic Xomed, Inc. Each of the absorbent members may be manufactured from other materials. The material of the absorbent member should be should be able to absorb about 500 μL to about 1500 μL of solution, more preferably about 900 μL to about 1,000 μL.
  • [0017]
    Referring to FIG. 4, the package 10 is opened as follows. A user uses his or her finger(s) or other means to separate the tabs 22, 26 from their juxtaposed position. The bumps 42, 46 allow the user to maintain a better grip when separating the tabs 22, 26. Next, the user simultaneously pulls each of the tabs 22, 26 and peels apart the shell members 12, 14, which pivot at the hinge 40, thus breaking the seals between the bands 50, 52 and the grooves 56, 58 and the seal between the flanges 30, 34. The seals between the bands 50, 52 and the grooves 56, 58 prevent inadvertent opening of the package 10 when it is in a closed position. It is noteworthy that the shell members 12, 14 are sufficiently flexible to enable a user to easily peel them apart from one another. It is also noteworthy that the strength of the seal between the shell members 12, 14 is weak enough to allow a user to easily peel them apart from one another, but strong enough for the package 10 to retain a liquid-tight seal so as to prevent any evaporation of the contact lens solution therefrom or any contamination of the contact lens 76 and the contact lens solution from foreign materials. When the aforesaid seals are broken and the shell members 12, 14 are separated, the contact lens 76 is exposed and made accessible to the user.
  • [0018]
    As previously mentioned, the absorbent members 16, 18 are, preferably, separate and distinct members. Alternatively, the package 10 may include a single frangible absorbent member capable of being torn apart at a weakened section along its medial axis (not shown in the Figures) when the package 10 is opened in the manner previously described.
  • [0019]
    It will be understood that the embodiment described herein is merely exemplary and that a person skilled in the art may make many variations and modifications without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Specifically, the present invention has been adapted for use in housing a single ophthalmic lens and an amount of solution. However, the present invention can be utilized to house a plurality of ophthalmic lenses and an amount of solution therefor. Further features and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly on a reading of the detailed description of an exemplary embodiment of the invention, which is given below by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings. All such variations and modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7477366Dec 7, 2006Jan 13, 2009Coopervision International Holding Company, LpContact lens blister packages and methods for automated inspection of hydrated contact lenses
US7828137Apr 13, 2006Nov 9, 2010Menicon Co., Ltd.Packaging for disposable soft contact lenses
US7832552Nov 16, 2010Menicon Co. Ltd.Duo packaging for disposable soft contact lenses using a substrate
US7850002Dec 14, 2010Menicon Co., Ltd.Packaging for soft contact lenses
US7938255May 10, 2011Menicon Singapore Pte Ltd.Internal member for disposable soft contact lens packaging
US7967133May 5, 2006Jun 28, 2011Menicon Singapore Pte Ltd.Packaging for disposable soft contact lenses
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US8763794May 17, 2011Jul 1, 2014Stephen D. NewmanPackaging for disposable soft contact lenses
US8955672Sep 28, 2010Feb 17, 2015Menicon Singapore Pte Ltd.Packaging for disposable soft contact lenses
US20060054514 *Sep 16, 2004Mar 16, 2006Michael TokarskiContact lens package
US20060182909 *Feb 2, 2006Aug 17, 2006Hosokawa Yoko Co., Ltd.Package
US20060219577 *Apr 13, 2006Oct 5, 2006Newman Stephen DPackaging for disposable soft contact lenses
US20060249403 *May 5, 2006Nov 9, 2006Newman Stephen DPackaging for disposable soft contact lenses
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US20150173474 *Dec 19, 2013Jun 25, 2015Google Inc.Packaging for an Active Contact Lens
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/5.1
International ClassificationA45C11/04
Cooperative ClassificationA45C11/005, B65D2585/545
European ClassificationA45C11/00L