US 20070191780 A1
A novel device and method for intradermal delivery of an active agent is provided. The device comprises a housing which contains a reservoir chamber. A flexible reservoir containing the active agent is placed in the chamber. Upon pressure on an actuator the active agents is delivered via a hollow needle to the skin.
1. A reservoir for carrying an active agent, said reservoir comprising a fillable bladder of thermoplastic material.
2. A reservoir according to
3. A reservoir according to
4. A reservoir according to
5. A reservoir according to
6. A method of manufacturing a reservoir as defined in
i. providing at least one sheet having a depression formed therein and facing that sheet with a second sheet.
7. A method according to
i. filling the bubble with a fluid drug; and
ii. sealing the bubble.
8. A device for delivery of a fluid drug to an animal, said device comprising:
i. a housing having an upper end and a lower end, said lower end having an aperture therein and said upper end being associated with an actuator;
ii. a reservoir chamber disposed within the housing and operatively linked to the actuator, said reservoir chamber comprising a base and wall(s);
iii. a flexible reservoir, filled with the fluid drug, disposed within the reservoir chamber; and
iv. a needle mounted so as to transverse the base of said chamber such that a back of the needle is in communication with the chamber and a tip of the needle extends in the housing below the chamber.
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20. A method of administering a fluid drug through the skin of an animal, said method comprising:
i. providing a device as defined in
ii. applying the lower surface of the device to the skin;
iii. exerting pressure on the drive mechanism thereby lowering the reservoir chamber and causing the needle tip to travel through the aperture and into the skin a predetermined distance; and
iv. applying continued pressure on the drive mechanism to cause the upper end of the needle to pierce the reservoir and the contents of the reservoir to flow through the needle into the skin.
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27. A device for delivering an active agent to the skin, said device comprising:
i. a housing;
ii. a reservoir chamber releasably positioned in said housing, said reservoir chamber adapted to receive a reservoir containing the active agent;
iii. at least one needle having an upper opening and a lower opening defining a cannula transversing the base of the reservoir chamber; and
iv. actuator means for moving said chamber downward within said housing.
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The present invention relates to drug delivery devices and methods of delivering a drug intradermally. In particular, the present invention relates to intradermal delivery of a liquid drug.
There has long been a desire to deliver drugs intradermally. The skin comprises two layers, the outer or upper surface called the epidermis, and the internal surface referred to as the dermis. The epidermis does not contain any blood vessels and it is dependent on the underlying dermis for nutrient delivery and waste disposal via diffusion. The inner layer, the dermis, is composed of two layers, the more superficial papillary dermis and the deeper reticular dermis. The papillary dermis is thinner and consists primarily of loose connective tissue containing small capillaries, elastic fibers, reticular fibers and some collagen. The deeper reticular dermis consists of a thicker connective tissue containing larger blood vessels, interlaced elastic fibers and core spindles of collagen fibers arranged in layers parallel to the surface. The reticular layer also contains many antigen-presenting cells, fibroblasts, mast cells, nerve endings, and lymphatics. Because of the high amount of blood vessels, lymphatics and antigen presenting cells in the dermis, this is an ideal site for delivery of drugs and/or antigens.
A major problem, however, with intradermal delivery is the difficulty in precisely delivering the drug into the dermal layer. Generally, the outer layer, the epidermis, has a thickness of about 0.05 to 2 mm and the dermis has a thickness between about 1.5 and 4 mm. Thus, to deliver an agent to the dermis, the needle must penetrate the skin to a depth of no more than 5 mm, preferably between about 2 and 4 mm. It is very difficult to control an injection to this shallow depth. For certain types of injection, such as the Mantoux test for tuberculosis, a fine gauge needle is inserted at a 45° angle to try and get the agent into the dermis.
Several efforts have been made to try and find reliable ways of delivering agents to the dermis. For example, United States Patent Application No. 2005/0124967 is directed to a method for directly delivering a high molecular weight substance into an intradermal space within mammalian skin comprising administering the substance through at lease one hollow needle having an outlet with an exposed height between 0 and 1 mm, said outlet being inserted into the skin to a depth of between 0.3 mm and 2 mm, such that delivery of the substance occurs at a depth between 0.3 mm and 2 mm and a microneedle for intradermal injection of a high molecular weight pharmaceutical substance, wherein the microneedle has a length and outlet selected for its suitability for specifically delivering the substance into the dermis.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,527,288 discloses an intradermal drug delivery device for delivering a liquid drug to a subject via the subject's skin, comprising a housing having a lower surface for application to the skin of the subject; means for affixing the housing in position with the lower surface in contact with the subject's skin; and a drug reservoir within the housing. The reservoir is in the form of an expansible-contractible chamber which is expanded when filled with the drug and which can be contracted to dispense the drug therefrom. A single hollow needle is associated with the drug reservoir and extends through the lower surface, having an inner end communicating with the drug reservoir and an outer end projecting outwards a sufficient distance so as to penetrate through the epidermis and into the dermis when the housing is pressed against the skin. The device also includes means for actively discharging the drug from the reservoir to the subject's skin via the needle.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,689,118 is directed to a method of making an intradermal injection into the skin of an animal to obtain systemic delivery or to induce an immune response. The method comprises providing a drug delivery device including a needle cannula having a forward needle tip and a needle cannula being in fluid communication with a substance contained in said drug delivery device; inserting the needle tip into the skin of an animal and engaging the surface of the skin with a skin engaging surface of a limiter portion such that the skin engaging surface of the limiter portion limits penetration of the needle Up into the dermis layer of the skin of the animal; and expelling the substance from the drug deliver device through the needle tip into the skin of the animal to expose the injected substance to the microcirculatory blood vasculature and the lymphatic plexuses.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,569,143 is directed to another related method of making an intradermal injection comprising providing a drug delivery device; inserting a needle tip into the skin of an animal whereby penetration of the needle Up is limited to the dermis layer of the skin of the animal; and expelling the substance from said drug delivery device through the needle tip into the skin of the animal.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,997,501 describes an intradermal drug delivery device for the delivery of at least one drug to a subject via the subject's skin. The device comprises a housing having a lower surface; a drug reservoir located with the housing; a cover that is adjustable engaged with the housing from a first extended position to a second retracted position such that the cover is proximal to the lower surface of the housing when the cover is retracted and the cover is distal to the lower surface of the housing when the cover is extended; means for affixing the cover in position with the lower surface of the housing in contact with the subject's skin; a single hollow needle fixed to the cover and having a first end in communication with the drug reservoir and a second end projecting outwards no further than the lower surface of the housing when the cover is extended, and to penetrate through the epidermis and into the dermis when the cover is retracted; and means for actively discharging the drug from the reservoir to the subject's skin via the needle.
Although multiple efforts have been made to try and provide a device for intradermal delivery, many of the prior art devices are expensive to manufacture or can only be used for one drug. In spite of all the efforts made to provide a method and/or device for intradermal delivery, there remained a need for a reliable, single-use, disposable device for intradermal delivery.
Many people consider an injection (at best) unpleasant and (at worst) a painful encounter, no matter how well the nurse or doctor administers the shot This is because most shots are given subcutaneously or intramuscularly, reaching deep enough into the skin to hit nerves. Part of the skin's job is to sense danger in the environment through nerve cells, and it is richly endowed with these cells—a single square inch of skin contains approximately 1,300 nerve endings. Since most injections are given subcutaneously or intramuscularly, thereby delivering drugs to be absorbed into the blood vessels, the needle generally strikes nerves and causes pain along the way. The device of the present invention is based on a unique technology that allows a liquid pharmaceutical formulation to be delivered into the skin of the patients through a fine needle without the significant pain experienced by regular injection needles. The drug is injected into the layers of the skin, avoiding the pinching of the nerves. This reduces pain significantly or eliminates it totally in many cases thus improving the acceptance and compliance to treat many diseases like diabetes.
The present invention addresses the problems of the prior art by providing a novel type of reservoir for a drug and a delivery device for delivering the drug from the reservoir to a specific depth of skin. A method of preparing the drug reservoir and a method of delivering a fluid drug are also provided.
In one aspect of the invention a reservoir for carrying an active agent is provided. The reservoir comprises a fillable bladder having flexible walls that can be sealed.
A method of manufacturing such a reservoir is also provided. In one embodiment, the method comprises the steps of: opposing two layers of thermoplastic film; heating the film; applying a vacuum mold to the outer surface of each layer of film to form a bubble; and allowing the film to cool.
In another embodiment, the method comprises preparing a sheet of thermoplastic material having a series of wells or depressions as fillable reservoirs. A top sheet is then applied to seal the reservoirs.
A method of filling the reservoir is also provided and comprises filling the bladder with a fluid drug; and sealing the reservoir.
In another aspect of the invention, a device for delivery of a fluid drug to an animal is provided. The term “animal” is used herein to include both human and non-human animals. The devices and methods of the invention are applicable for both human and veterinary use. The device comprises a housing having an upper end and a lower end, the lower end having an aperture therein and the upper end being adapted to receive a drive actuator. A reservoir chamber is disposed within the housing and operatively linked to the drive actuator. The reservoir chamber has a base and wall(s). The wall may be a continuous circular wall or a connected set of walls. Within the reservoir chamber, there is a flexible reservoir filled with the fluid drug. A microneedle is mounted on the base so as to transverse the base of the chamber such that the top of the needle is in communication with the chamber and the tip of the needle extends in the housing below the chamber.
In a preferred embodiment, the reservoir chamber is located at a predetermined distance from the lower end of the housing whereby abutment of the base of the chamber to the lower end of the housing acts as a stop to provide a predetermined length of travel of the needle through the aperture when the drive mechanism or actuator is activated. The length of travel is optimally set to deliver the drug intradermally. The device also preferably includes biasing means to maintain the reservoir chamber in the upper position within the housing, in the absence of pressure on the actuator thus retaining the needle tip inside the housing.
In another embodiment of the invention, the device includes a lower housing and an upper housing that fits over the lower housing. In this embodiment, the upper housing is continuous with the actuator that causes the reservoir to descend and contact the needle end.
In yet another aspect of the invention, a method of administering a fluid drug through the skin of an animal is provided. The method comprises providing a device as defined above; applying the lower surface of the device to the skin; exerting pressure on the drive mechanism thereby lowering the reservoir chamber and causing the needle tip to travel through the aperture and into the skin a predetermined distance; and applying continued pressure on the actuator to cause the upper end of the needle to pierce the reservoir and continuing to apply pressure so that all the contents of the reservoir flow through the needle into the skin.
This summary of the invention does not necessarily describe all features of the invention.
These and other features of the invention will become more apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the appended drawings wherein:
The following description is of preferred embodiments.
In one aspect of the present invention a novel type of drug reservoir is provided. The drug reservoir comprises a fillable bladder. The reservoir is formed between two layers of plastic film. The two layers can be formed from two sheets or from one sheet folded in half. When two sheets are used, the sheets may comprise the same material, thickness, etc. or they may be two different types of sheets.
The present invention provides for a drug delivery device incorporating a disposable reservoir. The device may be provided as a single-use, disposable device or a multi-use device. The device comprises a housing that has an upper end and a lower end. As used herein, the term “upper” is used to refer to the surface furthest away from an individual skin and the term “lower” is used to refer to the part of the device that contacts a patient's skin. An actuator is mounted at the top of the housing. The actuator is used to activate a drive mechanism. One example of a drive mechanism is a plunger that travels up and down within the housing. A reservoir chamber is slideably mounted within the housing. The reservoir chamber holds a reservoir filled with a liquid. The reservoir chamber is operatively linked to the drive mechanism. The reservoir chamber has a micro needle mounted on the lower surface of the chamber. When the plunger is depressed, the reservoir housing travels downward within the housing until it stops when the bottom of the reservoir housing hits the bottom of the outer housing.
A process for the manufacture of one embodiment of the reservoir is shown in FIGS. 1A-G. In
In another embodiment, the reservoir is formed by preparing a sheet of material having a series of wells or depressions. The wells are filled with a drug and then an upper sheet is applied to cover and seal the open end of the wells. In both embodiments the reservoir comprises a fillable, sealable bladder of thermoplastic material.
Various colors and shapes of reservoirs can be used for different drugs. For example, a round, blue bubble may indicate that the reservoir contains insulin and a square pink bubble may indicate a DPT vaccine. The reservoir of the present invention can be used to store many different kinds of active agents. Color coding can be used to identify the agent and/or dose strength.
The present invention also provides a device and method for delivery of the drug stored in the reservoir to an animal, preferably a human. The device comprises an outer housing. The outer housing can be made of any durable material, preferably a hard plastic. The outer housing can take various shapes, e.g. it can be round, oval, hexagonal, square etc. The outer housing can incorporate various colours to identify the agent and/or dose strength. The outer housing defines an internal chamber that includes an open top at the upper end and a base having an aperture at the lower end. A reservoir chamber is fitted inside the housing. The reservoir chamber is adapted to receive a disposable reservoir such as that described above. A microneedle is mounted in the bottom platform of the reservoir chamber with its upper (non-skin contacting) end protruding upward and just below the reservoir and the skin-contacting tip extending beyond the bottom of the chamber. The reservoir chamber frictionally engages the internal wall(s) of the housing. A drug reservoir or bubble is contained within the reservoir chamber. A drive actuator is operatively linked to the reservoir chamber. The drive actuator may include a flexible dome or an upper casing. The reservoir chamber typically comprises an open upper end, an internal chamber to hold the reservoir and a base platform with the needle mounted so that it transects the base. A retraction mechanism such as a vacuum bulb or a spring is also optionally included.
In use, the delivery device is placed on the skin with the lower end of the housing touching the skin. The drive mechanism is then actuated to drive the reservoir chamber downwards until the base platform of the reservoir chamber hits the base of the housing. This causes the needle to exit through the aperture in the base of the housing a predetermined distance and enter into the skin to a predetermined depth. Further downward pressure on the plunger compresses the drug filled reservoir and causes it to be pierced by the upper end of the needle. This puts the cannula of the needle in fluid communication with the contents of the reservoir and as the downward pressure continues until the tip of the plunger bottoms on the base platform of the reservoir chamber, the contents of the reservoir are passed through the cannula of the needle to the skin of an animal or human subject. When the pressure on the drive mechanism is released, retraction means cause the needle to be retracted back into the housing for disposal.
One preferred embodiment of the device and its operation is shown in FIGS. 2A-J. The device 50 comprises housing 52. The housing has an open upper end 54 and a bottom base 56 defining an interior chamber 58 that optionally includes a spring. The bottom base comprises an aperture 60. The interior of the housing is adapted to receive a reservoir chamber 62. The reservoir chamber comprises a base 64 and a surrounding wall 66 extending upwards from the base defining a chamber 62 with an open top 68. A filled reservoir body 70 is located in the reservoir chamber.
A single hollow needle 72 is associated with the reservoir chamber 62. The needle 72 extends through the base 64 of the chamber 62 and has a cannula with an upper end 74 communicating with the interior 75 of the reservoir chamber and a lower end 78 projecting out of the chamber and down a predetermined distance. The open top 68 of the reservoir chamber is adapted to receive an actuator 80. In the illustrated embodiment, the actuator comprises a plunger 82 having an activation flange 84 at one end and a stopper 86 at the other end. In the initial position of the device as provided and as shown in
In one preferred embodiment an upper housing 96 encases the plunger 80.
It is clearly apparent that the distance the needle travels can be varied depending on the desired application and on the bubble position and the length of the needle. For example, the device can be adapted to have the needle travel a distance between about 0.5 mm to about 10 mm. Thus, the device of the invention can be adapted for intradermal, subcutaneous or intramuscular injections. The needle preferably travels from about 3 mm to 8 mm. The needle gauge is preferably 25 to 84 gauge although different gauge needles can be used.
The operation of the device is illustrated sequentially in
Referring now to
Referring now to
After use, the needle is preferably retracted back into the housing 52 as illustrated in
In the embodiment illustrated in
In another embodiment, a flexible dome fits over the plunger rod and activation flange. It is also clearly apparent the manual activation flange can be exposed. The device also optionally includes a spring that is located around or below the reservoir chamber base such that when pressure on the activation flange is released the compressive energy of the spring causes the needle to be retracted back into the housing.
In another aspect of the invention, a method for delivering an effective amount of a liquid active agent to an animal, preferably a human, is provided. The method comprises providing a drug delivery device according to the present invention, said device containing a reservoir filled with the desired drug; applying the bottom surface of the drug delivery device of the invention to the skin of an animal, applying pressure on the actuator to cause the needle to enter the skin, applying continued pressure to puncture the reservoir and deliver the contents of the reservoir through the cannula of the needle.
The device of the present invention can be used to deliver a variety of active agents. The term “drug” is used loosely herein to refer to prophylactic as well as therapeutic agents. For example, vaccines may be delivered using the device. In addition, the term refers broadly to active agents, such as nucleic acids, small molecules, therapeutic proteins, hormones, analgesics, etc. in additional to traditional pharmacologic agents. Typical drugs include peptides, proteins or hormones such as insulin, calcitonin, calcitonin gene regulating protein, atrial natriuretic protein, colony stimulating factor, betaseton, erythropoietin (EPO), interferons such as α, β, or γ interferon, somatropin, somatotropin, somatostatin, insulin-like growth factor (somatomedins), luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH), tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), growth hormone release hormone (GHRH), oxytocin, estradiol, growth hormones, leuprolide acetate, factor VIII, interleukins such as interleukin-2, and analogues thereof; analgesics such as fentanyl, sufentanil, butorphanol, buprenorphine, levorphanol, morphine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxymorephone, methadone, lidocaine, bupivacaine, diclofenac, naproxen, pavefin, and analogues thereof; anti-migraine agents such as sumatriptan, ergot alkaloids, and analogues thereof, anti-coagulant agents such as hepafin, hirudin, and analogues thereof; anti-emetic agents such as scopolamine, ondansetron, domperidone, metoclopramide, and analogues thereof; cardiovascular agents, anti-hypertensive agents and vasodilator such as diltiazem, clonidine, nifedipine, verapamil, isosorbide-5-mononitrate, organic nitrates, agents used in treatment of heart disorders, and analogues thereof; sedatives such as benzodiazepines, phenothiozines, and analogues thereof; narcotic antagonists such as naltrexone, naloxone, and analogues thereof; chelating agents such as deferoxamine, and analogues thereof; anti-diuretic agents such as desmopressin, vasopressin, and analogues thereof; antineoplastics such as 5-fluorouracil, bleomycin, and analogues thereof; prostaglandins and analogues thereof; and chemotherapy agents such as vincristine, and analogues thereof. Stabilized preparations of drugs that can be stored at room temperature are particularly preferred for use in the device and method.
The term “fluid” refers to any fluid containing an active agent or communication of agents that can pass through the cannula of the microneedle. This includes a liquid, a solution, a gel, a dispersion or a fine suspension.
All citations are hereby incorporated by reference.
The present invention has been described with regard to one or more embodiments. However, it will be apparent to persons skilled in the art that a number of variations and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the claims.