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Publication numberUS3212670 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 19, 1965
Filing dateMar 17, 1964
Priority dateMar 17, 1964
Publication numberUS 3212670 A, US 3212670A, US-A-3212670, US3212670 A, US3212670A
InventorsHoward Tint, Ridley John W
Original AssigneeAmerican Home Prod
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispensing container for vaccinating needles
US 3212670 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

H. TINT ETAL 3,212,670

DISPENSING CONTAINER FOR VACCINATING NEEDLES Oct. 19, 1965 Filed March 17, 1964 INVENTORS: HOWARD TINT JOHN W.RIDLEY j BY dln hr Kal/Lr ATTORNEY United States Patent Oil-ice 3,212,679 Patented Got. 19, 1965 3,212,670 DISPENSENG CONTAINER FOR VACCINATING NEEDLES Howard Tint, Havertown, and John W. Ridley, Folsom,

Pa., assignors to American Home Products Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 17, 1964, Ser. No. 352,558 6 Claims. (Cl. 221-312) The present invention relates generally to dispensing containers and more particularly to a container for dispensing needles, especially vaccinating and testing needles suitable for use by the medical and related professions.

Vaccinating and testing needles of both the solid and cannula types have long been in use by the medical and related professions. The previous devices of the simple solid category have had in common the characteristic of a single-point needle made of any of a variety of materials, but most usually of steel.

There has since been developed an improved vaccinating and testing needle comprising a main shank having at one extremity thereof a pair of prongs defining therebetween a slot of predetermined length, width and depth, adapted to maintain therein by capillary action a predetermined amount of liquid when the needle is dipped into and removed from the dose vial at the time of use. In the preferred form of this bifurcated needle, the shank thereof is elongated so that it may function as a handle for the needle while the pronged end is formed by a pressing operation which results in said end having a wider dimension in one plane than the diameter of the shank of the needle. Since these bifurcated needles have been found to be ideally suited for rapid vaccination techniques having excellent take results, their respectively separate use in the inoculation of each of a plurality of persons by, say a single practitioner, has become feasible.

In certain instances, it has been found advantageous to utilize such needles by picking up the predetermined amount of the liquid form of the vaccinating substance between the prongs of the needle and, instead of using needle for an on-the-spot vaccination, drying the substance in situ, and then retaining the dried form between the prongs of the needle during transportation and storage, for example, or at least prior to reconstitution of the dried form at the time of use of the needle by application of the reconstituting liquid. It has already been proposed to seal these so-charged needles individually in sterile condition within a glass capsule, which is frangible at a predetermined point to permit exposure of the applicator end of the needle when it is to be used, and at the same time to provide a handle at the other end of the applicator which is not subject to contamination by the dried material. These individually packaged devices have been found to be eminently suitable for their intended purposes, particularly where separate single vaccinations are to be performed.

However, as stated previously, these new bifurcated needles permit the on-the-spot vaccinations of a plurality of persons by the technique of loading each needle with the requisite predetermined amount of liquid dose form at the time of use. Hence, it would be desirable from the practical aspects of ease of accessibility to a s ingle needle in sterile form, and also with respect to packaging costs, if a single package or container could be provided which would contain a multiple number of said bifurcated needles in sterile condition and would permit dependable and facile dispensing therefrom of a single needle at a time, without substantially affecting the sterility of either the needle dispensed or the needles still remaining in the package.

With the foregoing in view, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a container for a plurality of needles which permits the dispensing of only a single needle at a time as desired.

Another object is to provide such a container which functions as a manually-operated dispenser for individual needles in substantially jam-proof fashion.

It is another object of the invention to provide such a dispensing container which retains the needles in substantially undisturbed sterile condition even as the needles are dispensed singly.

Another object is to provide such a container which retains the needles in the container in the aseptic condition in which the needles are initially introduced into the container, all during initial handling and/or storage of the container prior to use thereof as a dispenser.

It is another object to provide such a container, which, when functioning as a dispenser for pronged needles, assures that a dispensed needle will not drop free of the container, but will require a final positive manipulation to fully remove the needle from the container.

Another object is to provide such a container which is dually sealed when not in use.

Yet another object is to provide such a dually sealed container which is also adapted to be stood on end for storage or display.

Still another object is to provide a sealed dispensing container consisting of a minimum number of parts, each of which may be inexpensively molded of plastic.

Another object is to provide a dispensing container which is loadable with needles via the end thereof opposite the dispensing end integrally attached to the container, which opposite end is then permanently scalable.

The above and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the description thereof that follows.

Generally, the present invention resides in the provision of a dispensing container comprising a tubular body, a dispensing tip closing the front end of the body, with the dispensing tip having a generally conical interior surface which generally tapers inwardly in the direction away from the tubular body and toward the distal end of the dispensing tip, the generally conical interior surface comprising a series of adjacent concentric steps terminating at a dispensing aperture defined at the apex region of the generally conical interior surface.

Preferably, a plurality of said steps each comprises a generally cylindrical surface facing inwardly with respect to the axis of the tubular body and extending generally axially thereof, and an annular surface facing rearwardly toward the tubular body and extending generally parallel to a cross-sectional plane that is substantially perpendicular to the axis of the tubular body. In a preferred embodiment, the cylindrical surfaces are inclined slightly inwardly in the direction towards the apex of the conical interior surface, whereas the generally rearwardly facing annular surfaces connecting the adjacent cylindrical surfaces are inclined inwardly with respect to the axis of the cross-sectional plane of the tubular body. The aperture is preferably semi-resilient and has a diameter which permits passing of the shank or handle portions of the needles contained in the container, but not quite that of the wider dimensioned pronged ends of the needles, when such are present. This arrangement necessitates pulling of the pronged end through the semi-resilient aperture to fully remove the dispensed needle and hence avoid the possibility of a needle dropping free of the dispenser and being contaminated by contact with some extraneous surface. The spacing of the annular surfaces in the generally axial direction, as by the axial extent of the cylindrical surfaces therebetween, are preferably sufficient to cause a stepped disposition of the needles in the dispenser tip during the dispensing action, to the extent that interference of the pronged ends of adjacent needles in the container is avoided, as will more readily appear from the detailed description hereinafter. The Widths of the annular surfaces in the generally radial direction are preferably substantially equal to the diameter of the shank of the needles, as will also appear hereinafter.

The end of the tubular body opposite that closed by the dispensing tip is preferably sealed by a closure disc. The dispensing tip, in a preferred embodiment, is provided with a removable cap and a cover which removably seats over the cap and the end of the tubular body adjacent the dispensing tip, in frictional engagement therewith, to form a dual seal for the dispensing tip. The cover is preferably of a massive construction having a flat end which permits standing.

A preferred embodiment of the invention is disclosed in the following description and in the drawings appended hereto. It will be understood, however, that the description and drawings are intended to be illustrative only and not to limit the invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims. Referring now to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an axial cross-section of a dispensing container of generally cylindrical configuration, shown horizontally disposed and assembled with cap and cover in place and bifurcated needles reposing in the container;

FIG. 2 is an exploded cross-sectional view of the dispensing container, cap and cover shown assembled in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is also an axial cross-sectional view of the dispensing container of FIGS. 1 and 2, but herein shown in use and dispensing a single bifurcated needle;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional detail of the dispensing end of the container of the previous figures;

FIGS. 5a and 5b are schematic cross-sections of the shanks of needles disposed in the dispensing end of the container during the dispensing action as illustrated in FIG. 3, the cross-sections being taken approximately on line 5-5 of the latter figure; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation of one of the bifurcated needles shown in the container.

As appears in FIGS. 1 and 2, the dispensing container assembly 1 consists of a cylindrical container 2, a cap 3, and a cover 4, each separately molded of a plastic material. Cylindrical container 2 has a cylindrical wall 5, having formed therewith, at one end thereof, a truncated conical dispensing end or nose 6, described in detail hereinafter. The other end 7 of cylindrical wall 5 is cosed by a closure disc 8 having a peripheral rabbet 8' therein to permit close fit seating of disc 8 on the end 7 to which it is permanently affixed.

Truncated conical dispensing nose 6 is provided with a tapered external surface 10 and a blunt end surface 11. Interiorly, nose 6 is provided with a series of five concentric surfaces 1216 of gradually reduced diameters, ae, forming a generally tapered bore 6'. Surfaces 1216 are each at the same slight inclination with respect to the interior surface 17 of cylindrical wall 5, and inwardly with respect to approach to the apical end of dispensing nose 6 terminating in end surface 11. Each of surfaces 12-16 is connected to its next adjacent surface by one of a series of four stepped concentric surfaces 18-21. Surfaces 18-21 are each at a same small inclination with respect to the diametrically cross-sectional plane of cylindrical wall 5. Generally, the direction of inclination of surfaces 1821 is the opposite of that of surfaces 12- 16. However, largest concentric surface 12 is connected to interior surface 17 of cylindrical Wall 5 by a fifth stepped concentric surface 22, which is also inclined but in this case, in the opposite direction of the inclination of stepped surfaces 18-21.

A small axially disposed cylindrical bore 23 extends from blunt surface 11 inwardly to communicate with the apex of bore 6 defined by cylindrical surface 16. The axially disposed cylindrical wall of bore 23 is connected to the space defined by cylindrical surface 16 by a step 24 inclined in the same general direction as concentric surface 22, but at a substantially greater angle.

Cap 3 is of generally cylindrical configuration defined by a peripheral wall 30 having an external diameter less than that of cylindrical wall 5 of container 2, as best seen in FIG. 1, and a closure at one end defined by a disc top 31 integral therewith. Disc top 31 has integral therewith and extending from the interior surface thereof, an annular closure member 32 dimensioned so that when the cap 3 is mounted on the tapered surface 10 of dispensing nose 6 of container 2, with the distal or free edge of peripheral wall 30 in snug abutment therewith, the annular closure member 32 resiliently abuts blunt surface 11 surrounding aperture 24, thereby to cause sealing of aperture 24, as shown in FIG. 1.

Cover 4 is also of a generally cylindrical configuration which, in this case, is defined by an elongate peripheral externally smooth wall 40 having a region 41 of greater internal thickness and a region 42 of lesser internal thickness delineated by shoulder 46. Thus, wall 40 in region 42 provides a bore 43 of slightly greater diameter than that of bore 44 defined by wall 40 in thicker region 41. A closure disc 45 spaced inwardly of the exposed edge of thicker wall region 41 is formed integrally therewith to complete the cover 4 and reinforce the peripheral wall 40 thereof.

The lesser diameter of bore 44 of cover 4 is dimensioned with respect to the external diameter of wall 30 of cap 3 to permit a snug fit therebetween when the parts are assembled as shown in FIG. 1. The larger diameter of bore 43 is dimensioned to assure a snug fit of cylindrical wall 42 on cylindrical wall 5 of container 2, as also appears in FIG. 1. The longitudinal extent of thinner wall region 42, which terminates at shoulder 46 where thicker wall region 41 begins, and the positioning of disc 45 in bore 44, are selected so that, when cap 3 is mounted on tapered surface 10 of container 2, and cover 4 is mounted thereover and pushed home on container 2 so that the interior surface 43 of thinner wall portion 42 frictionally engages the exterior surface of cylindrical wall 5 of container 2; the interior surface 44 of thicker wall portion 41 frictionally engages the external surface of the peripheral wall 30 of cap 3, and the interior surface of closure disc 45 of cover 4 abuts the exterior surface of disc top 31 of cap 3, thereby to maintain the latter in sealing engagement with tapered surface 10 of dispensing nose 6 and with annular closure member 32 in sealing engagement with surface 11 surrounding aperture 24 in said dispensing nose 6, as referred to hereinbefore.

A specific operative embodiment of the invention disclosed above, which is particularly useful for maintaining forked vaccinating needles in sterile condition and dispensing them one at a time as desired, is described hereinafter. This particular embodiment has been found to be especially useful for containing and dispensing doublepronged needles formed of steel (such as 426 Stainless) and having an overall length of approximately 70 mm., a shank diameter of about 1.0 mm., a pronged end comprising a flattened portion extending for approximately 5 mm., wherein the prongs at their wider dimensions are 1 mm. wide, 1 mm. thick, and extend to form a slot therebetween that is 1 mm. wide and 2 mm. long.

In said specific embodiment useful for such needles described above, the length of container 2, comprising cylindrical wall 5 and tapered nose portion 6, integrally molded of Plexiglas, is 3% inches. Closure disc 8 for shell 2 is also of Plexiglas and has a thickness of /s inch thick. Because of rabbet 8', by which disc 8 is seated in end 7 of shell 2 (after container 2 has been charged with the above described forked needles with their pronged ends disposed rearwardly), the overall length of container 2 is increased only another A inch. The indetermined length of said cylindrical body, a shank diameter that is slightly less than said predetermined diameter of said dispensing aperture and substantially the same as said predetermined width of said annular second surface, each of said needles having at the ends thereof adjacent said closure sealing the rear end of said body a bifurcated vaccinating portion having a maximum width that is slightly greater than said predetermined diameter of said resiliently defined dispensing aperture.

2. The combination claimed in claim 1, wherein said bifurcated end portions of said needles have a predetermined extent along the shanks thereof and the extent of at least a plurality of said generally cylindrical first surfaces in the axial direction is at least as great as said predetermined extent of said bifurcated end portions of said needles.

3. The combination claimed in claim 2, wherein said container is of polymethyl methacrylate, said needles are of steel, said angle of said cylindrical first surface is about 6, and said angle of said annular second surface is about 15.

4. The combination claimed in claim 1, wherein said dispensing tip has a generally conical exterior surface also generally tapering inwardly in the direction toward the distal end of said tip, and in further combination with a cap removably mounted on said exterior surface of said tip, said removable cap having a top, a first peripheral edge attached to said top and positioned in abutment with and encircling said generally conical exterior surface thereof, and a second peripheral edge attached to said top and positioned interiorly of said first peripheral edge and in sealing abutment with said tip and encircling said dispensing aperture therein.

5. The combination claimed in claim 4, in further combination with a cylindrical cover having a first peripheral skirt portion in abutment with and encircling said cylindrical body in the region thereof adjacent said dispensing tip, a second peripheral skirt portion in abutment with and encircling said removable cap, and a transverse web portion in abutment with said top of said cap.

6. The combination claimed in claim 1, wherein said dispensing container is of plastic material, said needles are of metal, and said angle at which said annular second surface extends is more than twice said angle at which said generally cylindrical first surface extends.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 724,522 4/03 Thomas 128253 1,080,248 12/13 Bell 2213 12 2,68 1,5 29 6/54 Braithwaite 2213 12 FOREIGN PATENTS 736,938 12/32 France.

RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.

ternal diameter of container 2 defined by wall 5 is 2 inch. The maximum diameters of concentric surfaces 12-16 in nose 6 are .500 inch, .397 inch, .315 inch, .233 inch, and .151 inch, respectively, with each of said surfaces inclined 6 with respect to the main axis of container 2. Bore 23 has a diameter of 0.58 inch and surface 24, which connects the surface of bore 23 with concentric surface 16, is inclined at 30 to the radial plane of container 2. Surface 22, joining interior surface 17 of wall 5 with surface 12, is inclined 15 to said radial plane, whereas surfaces 18-21 are also inclined 15 to said plane, but in the opposite sense. Finally, the axial extent of surfaces 12-16 are .096 inch, .100 inch., .100 inch, .100 inch, and .108 inch, respectively, while that of bore 23 is .040 inch.

The dimensions of cap 3 and cover 4, also molded of Plexiglas, and the integral parts of each, may follow from the requisite relationship thereof to the parts of container 2 and to each other, as will readily appear to those skilled in the art by reference to the drawings which substantially indicate the relative proportions in scale in FIGS. 1 and 2. The former figure discloses the assembly of needle-filled container, cap and cover for shipment and storage. The assembly may be stood on end whereby massive cover 4 functions admirably as a stand for the closed and sealed container 2.

In the operation of the device for dispensing a needle 21, cover 4 and cap 3 are first removed from container 2. Container 2 is held in one hand and then manipulated as one would a slow-dispensing catsup bottle or salt shaker, for example, so that the container 2, in effect, is rolled or turned to a sudden stop with dispensing nose 6 down and the axis of the container preferably at an angle of between approximately 45 and 90 to the horizontal. The combined action of momentum and gravity on the needles causes them to fall downwardly and to stack with their shank ends in relatively concentric patterns on the surfaces 22, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 24 within nose 6, thereby directing the shank of a single needle to pass through bore 23, as appears in FIG. 3. As will also appear by reference to FIG. 3, the lengths of the concentric stepped surfaces 12-16 between the concentric annular surfaces 18, 19, 20, 21 and 24 are preferably of such a distance as to eliminate interference of the bifurcated ends of the needles as they assume said concentric patterns.

The side taper of the concentric stepped surfaces 12-16 (6 in the case of the specific embodiment described above) prevents wedging of needles from occurring as would be more likely with a square depth configuration since the taper eliminates a possible fulcrum edge at the junctures of the concentric surfaces with the annular surfaces that would hinder freely falling needles from arranging themselves within a circle, or rather a part thereof, on the ledges provided by the next adjacent annular surfaces. Moreover, the taper of each concentric surface actually directs the needle ends to the next adjacent annular surface at which the needles are then maintained. In this regard, it has been noted that the best operation of the container dispenser occurs when it is approximately half full of needles. The apparent principle involved in such situation is that when the container is approximately half full, the geometric configuration of the concentric steps either holds or better aligns a central needle n in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 5a and 5b of the drawings, or by a similar arrangement wherein there are no needles laying on top of the one being aligned. In this manner, hindrance of the movement of the centrally disposed needle through aperture 23 is avoided, while proper alignment of said centrally disposed needle for dispensing is assisted by the needles in engagement therewith at the bottom and sides thereof.

On the other hand, the reverse inclination of the annular surfaces 18-21 (15 in the specific embodiment disclosed) mitigates further against the action of the freely falling or orienting needles from moving to the center 6 with resulting jamming, as would occur with a dispensing nose having a smoothly tapering interior surface.

The diameter of bore 23 permits the shank end of a needle to slide through, usually only to the extent of a fraction of the length thereof, probably because of friction between the surfaces of bore 23 and needle 11'. In no case may the needle fall out of the bore altogether,

since the wider-dimensioned forked end of the needle functions as a stop when surface 24 is engaged thereby. Thus, after the protruding shank of a dispersed needle is grasped by the user, a final slight tug is necessary to pull the pronged end of the needle past surface 24 through the resilient bore 23. After the needle has been withdrawn by its shank, the bifurcated end, still in sterile condition, may be dipped into a dose vial containing the vaccinating medium to be used and then applied to the area to be vaccinated. The dose vial may be so dimensioned so that cap 3 may have the function of subsequently serving as a sealing closure for the open upper end of the vial once the usual seal thereof is broken, while cover 4 may be fitted to the bottom of the vial to function as a stabilizing stand therefor while both the dispenser and vial are in use.

Although a specific embodiment of the invention has been disclosed hereinabove, as will be understood, many variations and embodiments of the invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof as defined in the appended claims. For example, the dispensing container and/ or the cap and cover therefor, may be made of other plastic materials, or of metal or paper, or of other suitable material. The container, cap and/ or cover need not necessarily be respectively integral. The needles with which the container may be charged may be made of materials other than steel, and the dimensions of the needle and of the pronged end thereof may be varied considerably as desired depending upon such factors as the material chosen, liquid to be picked up, and the amount of charge desired. The dimensions and inclinations of the various surfaces in the dispensing cone may be varied depending upon the size of the container, the dimensions of the needles to be dispensed, and the relative frictional coefiicients of the materials of which the needle and container are made. The container may be sealed and closed by closure means other than the cap and cover described herein. Various other changes within the scope of the invention will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art.

We claim:

1. In combination:

(A) a dispensing container for vaccinating needles comprising an elongate cylindrical body of predetermined length, a dispensing tip closing the front end of said body and a closure sealing the rear end of said body, said dispensing tip having a generally conical interior surface generally tapering inwardly in the direction toward the distal end of said tip, said generally conical interior surface comprising a series of concentric steps terminating at a dispensing aperture of predetermined diameter defined at the apex region of said generally conical interior surface by a resilient material, a plurality of said steps each comprising a generally cylindrical first surface facing inwardly with respect to the axis of said cylindrical body and extending at a small angle to the axis of said cylindrical body in the direction of said inward taper of said interior surface of said dispensing tip, and an annular second surface of predetermined width facing toward said cylindrical body and extending at a small angle to the diametrically cross-sectional plane of said cylindrical body in a direction inwardly with respect to the axis of said cross-sectional plane; and

(B) a plurality of elongate vaccinating needles enclosed in said dispensing container, each of said needles having an overall length slightly less than said pre-

Patent Citations
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US724522 *Dec 21, 1901Apr 7, 1903Onesime ThomasVaccinating-needle.
US1080248 *Apr 20, 1912Dec 2, 1913John B BellSingle-delivery match-box.
US2681529 *Dec 26, 1950Jun 22, 1954Braithwaite Leland APortable pellet dispenser
FR736938A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4127219 *Dec 27, 1976Nov 28, 1978Mabus Richard CNeedle dispenser
US4196824 *Jan 31, 1979Apr 8, 1980Roch LabellePasta dispenser
US4811842 *Sep 10, 1987Mar 14, 1989Chitose Kagaku Kogyo Co., Ltd.Case for storing spare leads
US5310083 *Apr 8, 1993May 10, 1994James River Paper Company, Inc.Center-pull nozzle with modified cone
US5885075 *May 7, 1996Mar 23, 1999Brilliant; Margo KayOrthodontic arch wire dispenser
U.S. Classification221/312.00R, 206/367
International ClassificationA61B17/20
Cooperative ClassificationA61B17/205
European ClassificationA61B17/20B