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Publication numberUS3302374 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 7, 1967
Filing dateFeb 14, 1966
Priority dateAug 26, 1963
Publication numberUS 3302374 A, US 3302374A, US-A-3302374, US3302374 A, US3302374A
InventorsGeorge Szekely
Original AssigneeG S Internat Lab Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Aerosol apparatus for inhalation therapy
US 3302374 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 7, 1967 G. SZEKELY 3,302,374



United States Patent 3,302,374 AEROSOL APPARATUS FOR INHALATION THERAPY George Szekely, Bronx, N.Y., assignor to G. S. International Laboratory Corp., Bronx, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Feb. 14, 1966, Ser. No. 527,022 12 Claims. (Cl. 55226) This is a continuation-in-part of application Serial No. 304,514 filed August 26, 1963, which application is now abandoned.

The present invention relates to improvements in high flow aerosol apparatus to make and deliver a therapeutically dry aerosolized high output for use in inhalation therapy and especially affording treatment over prolonged periods of time.

Heretofore, various devices have been proposed to atomize and nebulize a liquid by supplying a stream of air under pressure to suck liquid from a container and dispense it as a spray which was broken by bafiles that changed it into an aerosol flow for inhalation. For relatively large aerosol output or long continuing application, the use of manually-operated air compressing means is not possible or practical, and the use of power-driven air compressors is expensive and not suited for home use, and the use of compressed air tank involves dependence upon a supplier and similarly is not suitable for use at home.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a novel and improved aerosol apparatus of the type men tioned, involving a new construction having a new mode of operation which automatically produces a pressured air supply to act on an atomized liquid spray and cause its propulsion and nebulization, that is, this apparatus employs a liquid pressure system which automatically creates an air flow in the nebulization process as distinguished from the air pressure system which automatically creates a liquid flow.

In aerosol apparatus for inhalation therapy, the output is usually led by a hose means into the mouth of the patient. It is well known that only fine aerosol with a particle size of up to ten microns is retained satisfactorily in the respiratory tract. Courser particles of aerosol do not reach it. The air content of the aerosol supply is mostly insufiicient for the patients breathing requirements, so complementary air from the atmosphere is permitted along with the aerosol supply. The medicinal content of the aerosol, if it contains any, is frequently expensive and its mixing with too much air, depletes its effectiveness.

It is therefore another object of this invention to provide a novel and improved aerosol apparatus of the character described, in which the fineness of the aerosol can be controlled regardless of the viscosity of the liquid used. Further, provision is made that the air flow can be regulated, to provide proper air intake controlling quality and quantity of the aerosol produced and the complementary air supplied. As to the latter, the limited needs of complementary air to the patient is satisfied, but an excess thereof is avoided, thereby making the aerosol intake more effective with gain in economy in the cost and time of the treatment.

A further object thereof is to provide a novel and improved aerosol apparatus of the kind set forth, including an indicator to show the level of the liquid supply Which is necessary to perform the inhalation.

Another object thereof, is to provide an aerosol apparatus of the type set forth, in which the courser particles of liquid in the aerosol, which are not useful for the inhalation, return to the liquid supply.

- A further object of this invention is to provide a novel ice and improved aerosol apparatus of the class described, in which the supply of liquid required, is a minimum quantity, by using a continuously operating circulating pump means having no dead fill therein, and so placed that the drainage flows back to the pump by a short and direct route, without the use of a storage container, as has heretofore been required.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel and improved aerosol apparatus of the character set forth, which is simple in construction, very reasonable in cost, easy to use, extremely compact, manually portable and eflicient in carrying out the purposes for which it is designed.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent as this disclosure proceeds.

For the practice of this invention, in contradistinction to prior devices in which a stream of air was impinged to bring liquid into motion, the present invention uses liquid in motion to create a supply of air in motion to further act upon such liquid in motion so a fine aerosol supply comes into being. Thus the present apparatus includes a nozzle which receives liquid under pressure and which discharges it through a minute orifice so that the spray is spread, meaning it is atomized. The discharge nozzle protrudes partially into a nipple which is closely spaced around it so the fine liquid spray causes a strong air flow through the nipple in the direction of the spray discharge to afford a jet action; said nipple being the intake port of an enlarged bafile chamber. Said automatically created air gust propels the atomized rnass through the baffle chamber structure, to further nebulize the spray and yield a high flow aerosol output which is directed from said chamber through a suitable conduit as a flexible hose, to a mask for the patient. Liquid particles too large for proper inhalation collect on the bafiles and fall off. Preferably, they are drained back into the liquid supply feeding the nozzle, if other than just water.

In one embodiment of this invention, a simple piston pump is reciprocated by a swingable armature of an AC.- operated electromagnet means as associated with a detachable jar in a unitary hold-in hand structure similarly to an ordinary paint sprayer. A discharge nozzle is used in conjunction With a bafile chamber structure mounted thereon and has the jet means to automatically provide a supply of air under pressure for impelling the spray through the baffle chamber and thence through a conduit to a mask. In this embodiment, the entrance to said nipple is of course communicative With the atmosphere.

In another embodiment, another form of pump is shown, namely a rotary screw pump which continuously circulates an initially fixed quantity of liquid until it is all converted into proper aerosol. Suitable to be fed a forced liquid supply to its spray nozzle by any means, this embodiment has the nipple in a valve-controlled air space and employs adjustable baflle means. Said valve and baffle adjustments are for varying the quality of the aerosol produced and the quantity of supplemental air required by the patient.

For a detailed description of said embodiments of this invention and their modes of operation, reference will be had to the accompanying drawing in which similar reference characters indicate corresponding parts in all the views, and in which FIG. 1 is an elevational view partly in section, of an aerosol apparatus embodying teachings of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a section taken at lines 2-2 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary View of the spray nozzle and its associated nipple which is the constricted entrance port into the bafile chamber structure.

FIG. 4 is a front view of a modified embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 5 is a section taken at line 5--5 in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged section taken at line 66 in FIG. 4, but omitting the outer casing in which the entire apparatus is housed. This view includes an air intake valve.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the baffle system included in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view of another form of air intake valve, for the apparatus shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is a section taken at line 99 in FIG. 8.

In the drawing, the numeral indicates generally an aerosol apparatus including a spraying nozzle 16 that receives liquid under pressure from a container 17 by means of a pump 18 which is operated by the oscillation of the armature 19 in response energization of the electromagnets 20 by alternating current under the control of a switch 21. The armature drives a spring-biased piston 12 of the pump. The pump has an intake port with a check valve 14 near the bottom of the container. This container 17 may be a glass jar onto which a casing 22 holding the pump and its actuator, is screwed as a cap. The device described thus far is readily recognized as a well known paint sprayer, and reference is made to my Patents Nos. 2,143,391 and 2,307,246, for other suitable forms of electrically driven pumps. The nozzle 16 in this embodiment extends horizontally and has a minute discharge aperture 23 to direct an atomized spray into a baffie chamber structure indicated generally by the numeral 24, when liquid is brought under pressure to said nozzle. It is important to note that while a spray is issuing from the nozzle 16, a supply of air automatically forces itself from the atmosphere into 24, through the passage at 26 into which said nozzle 16 extends concentrically spaced and in close proximity. This passage may be offered through the nipple 27 extending as an integral neck around the central hole of a baffie plate 28 fitted as a partition across the casing 29 which is horizontally positioned and closed at its distal end by a wall 30 having a central hole with a suitable means for coupling thereto an end of the hose 25 which latter leads to a mask not shown, for application to a patient. The presence of the nozzle 16 as associated in said passage 26, provides jet action automatically creating a forceful air flow into the bafile chamber structure 24; the supply of air entering the apparatus through the openings 31 in the wall of the casing 29.

Spray entering the casing 29, from the nozzle 16, impinges against the convex outer surface of a preferably semi-spherical shell 32 which faces the convex surface of the bafile plate 28. Part way into this shell 32, there extends the smaller end of a flared, funnel-shaped tubular member 33. A dished ring 34, has its inner margin in concentric spaced relationship with the smaller portion of the flared tube, and the open end of the shell 32, is within and spaced from the dished ring. A bafiie plate 34' forms a partition across the front of the casing 29, a distance from the end wall 30, and has a central opening around which is a short neck 35 which extends and tapers towards said end wall 30. Intermediate and spaced from the partition 34' and the flared opennig of the funnel-shaped tubular member 33, is a preferably semispherical shell 36 whose mouth end faces said partition 34 and is substantially larger than the opening 35 through such partition. The baffles 28, 32, 33, 34, 36 and 34 are preferably assembled as a unitary structure carried on wirework 37 for convenience in assembling and dismantling the apparatus. When such bafiie assembly is in place in the casing 29, the perimetrical edges of the end baflles 28 and 34' fit tightly within the interior surface of the casing, providing a chamber whose entrance is through 26 and whose exit is the central opening in the partition 34'. The outer peripheries of the baffle members 33 and 34 are quite close to the inner wall of the casing 29. Said casing is positioned horizontally, is preferably frusto-conical in shape, and allows all drippin'gs from the battles to drain through a drain pipe 38, back into the container 17, or if desired, said drain pipe may lead elsewhere.

In the apparatus 15, jet action occurs in the section or zone indicated as A where the nozzle 16 issues a liquid spray through the nipple 27, creating a draft of sufficient intensity through said nipple into the casing 29, to supply forceful air acting upon the spray into the successive zones B, C and D, and providing a flow of aerosol from the collection chamber B through the delivery tube 25 to the patient. The turbulence caused by the automatically forced air flow through the casing 29, and the intercepting, bouncing and rebounding of the spray particles off the baffles 32, 28 and 34, atomizes and nebulizes the mixture in the zone B, and further nebulization occurs in the zones C and D. Globules which have not become finely divided and still have sufficient weight to run off the surfaces of the baffles 33 and 34, do so in the zones C and D and will drain through pipe 38 back into the container 17. When the nebulized product reaches the collecting chamber B, it is a therapeutically dry aeorsol suitable for inhalation therapy for the pulmonary system.

It is evident that this apparatus will operate automatically to make an aerosol if a liquid under pressure is brought to the nozzle 16 and discharged as a fine spray into the baffle chamber 24. In the embodiment 15 of this invention, the pump 18 supplies liquid under pressure to the spray nozzle 16, and all the parts are associated as a unitary structure. It is evident that the pump and liquid supply may be separate from the structure 24, that the latter may be adapted to be held in hand, and if desired, the mask may extend directly from the central opening of the end cap 30, which is removable to facilitate cleaning.

It is to be noted that the quality of liquid delivered by the pump 18 to the spray nozzle 16, per oscillation of the pumps piston 12, determines the quantity and quality of the aerosol discharged from the casing 24. Accordingly an adjusting screw 39 is provided to alter the amplitude of oscillation of the armature 19 and thus change the piston stroke to control the quality and quantity of the aerosol discharge at 25.

It is also to be noted that the nipple 27 is so very near around the nozzles orifice, that the spray 40 is permitted very little spread within the nipple 27, so the spray impinges all around the inner surface of the nipple before any of it enters the comparatively large bafile structure casing 29, If the spray were allowed to pass without interception in the nipple before entering the casing 29, the air gust if any, caused to occur through the nipple into said casing, would not be sufficient to propel the spray through the bafile structure in most instances. The casing must be appreciably large and so must be the composite baffle structure therein, to assure proper nebulization and mixing with the air, otherwise in breaking up the liquid particles in a space where no spreading can occur, the broken particles would be so close to one another in passage through the casing that they would bunch together in their travel and become large in size before reaching the collection chamber E.

It is evident without further illustration, that the apparatus of FIG. 1 can be built so that the casing 29' and its contents as well as the spray nozzle, constitute a vertical structure wherein the spray discharge and its subsequent final travel is upward. The modified embodiment shown in FIGS. 4-6 has such arrangement and other features which will now be set forth in detail.

The numeral 41 designates an elongated vertical casing within whose middle part is positioned a system of vertically spaced bafiies 42, 43, 44, 45 over a vertical nipple indicated generally by the numeral 46, within which upwardly extends an upwardly-discharging spray nozzle 47 whose feed pipe 48 is secured water-tight through the casmgs floor 49 having a slanted upper surface 49'. Downwardly from the lowest region of said floor, is a drain pipe 50 communicative with the casings interior, and connected at its lower end in a T-fitting 51, with the intake port 52 of a rotary screw pump 53 and a filling tube 54 for furnishing a supply of medicated liquid which is to be converted into aerosol within the casing 41, and thence delivered to a patient from the casings upper outlet 55, by means similar to the hose 25. An electric motor 56 is directly connected to the pump 53, to work it to force liquid through its discharge port 57 which is connected to the nozzles feed pipe 48. The tube 54 may lead from a tank 54",

The casing 41 has a branch 58, preferably controlled by a valve denoted generally by the numeral 59, for allowing the entrance of atmospheric air into the casing 41, in the region of the bottom end of the said nipple 46, for the rush of air which is created to go up through the nipple during a spray discharge from the nozzle 47. In the particular construction illustrated, the nipple extends down to the floor 49, and has a large opening 60 through its wall, below the nozzle. Said branch 58 extends inwardly of the casing 41 where it is joined to said nipple wall to form a sort of elbow with the nipple whereby air drawn into said branch will pass through said opening and thence up through the nipple. In essence, the lower end of the nipple 46 is open to atmospheric air when the valve 59 is open.

Of importance to note is the battle 61 of substantially spherical form at the bottom end of a rod 62 which is vertically slidable and extends upwardly out of the casing 41, so it can be manipulated. This bafile 61 is within the nipple 46, above the spray nozzle 47, and its position may be observed by use of a scale 63 fixed atop the casing 41; there being a reference line 64 on the rod 62, for taking a reading. Said rod, all bafiles, the nipple and the nozzle, are in concentric relation with the casing 41. The entire apparatus may be in a case 65, arranged so that exterior same are, the end of the aerosol discharge tube 55, the valve 59, the cap 54 of the filling tank 54", the scale 63 and the upper end of the rod 62. This outer case 65 may include a bin 66 with a door 67, for the storage of pharmaceutical preparations and the hose 25 and its mask.

.The bafile system comprising the components 42-45 is unified by the vertical connecting rod elements 68, and mounted in the casing 41, so the baflle 45 is immediately below the discharge port 55. This bathe and 43 have central openings 45' and 43' respectively. The perimeter of 43 is toothed like a gear, the tips of which teeth are secured to the casing wall, The perimeter of 45 is secured to the casing wall to establish the aerosol collection chamber E. The rod 62 is slidable through 42 and 44, and the slide bearings 69 and 70. The valve 59 may comprise a rotatable cap 71 on the tube 58 which has an end wall 72; said cap and end wall, each having a semi-circular opening; said openings being indicated by the numerals 71 and 72' respectively.

The inner wall of the nipple 46 is so closely spaced from the spray nozzle 47, that upon the issuance of a spray 40, a gust of air is created to flow upwardly through said nipple, and strong enough to propel the liquid particles through the container 41 and the obstacles in their path therethrough, and finally out of the discharge tube to the patients mouth. The turbulence and the incident breaking up of the liquid particles, is well understood from the explanation given for the device of FIG. 1. However, there are further features accomplished with the apparatus of FIG. 5. By adjustment of the valve 59, the quantity and quality of the resulting aerosol manufactured is determined and also the amount of supplementary air. The position of the movable bafile 61 also determines the quality of the aerosol. The nearer this baffle 61 is to the nozzle, the liquid particles of the spray are broken up finer. When the liquid fed to the nozzle is of a low viscosity, the baflie 61 is adjusted to be nearer to the nozzle. For liquids of relatively higher viscosity, said bafile may be set further away from the nozzle. It should be noted that the inner wall of the nipple 46 and that of the casing 41 act as baffles. It is preferred that the entrance to the nipple should be flared to increase the velocity of the inrushing gust of air created during a continued spray discharge from the nozzle. To have the nipple 46 serve for better bafile action in cooperation with the battles 61 and 42, its interior is of a sort of hour-glass shape as shown, which is in the nature of a Venturi tube, whose interior median portion is constricted and converging therefrom toward both ends of the nipple, preferably along a convex wall as shown.

The motor-driven pump 53 may be any rotary type, and preferably I have shown it to be of the rotary screw type which'I have chosen as very suitable herein, for its construction has no dead fill, which fact is well known. Further, it permits the use of a given amount of liquid which shall be sufiicient for any prescribed prolonged treatment. This liquid supply, brought into the apparatus through the filling tube 54, is an amount which fills the pump and its level extends into the filling tube, which might be observed by having such tube transparent. The outer case 65 may also be transparent or have a suitable window not shown, to observe the level of liquid in the nozzle feed tube 48 which would also be transparent for such reading. When no liquid is seen passing up in the tube 48, the patient will know that the liquid has been consumed. It is also to be noted that the churning of the liquid in its passage through the pump, causes it to become heated, which is desirable because the aerosol made therewith would reach the patient at an appreciable temperature much nearer to his body temperature.

If it is desired that aerosol intake by the patient shall have more complementary air, the valve 59 is opened more. And if it is desired that aerosol discharge shall cease during exhalations, the valve may be of the type shown in FIG. 8, which is opened by pressing the button 73, and closed by releasing it; said button being on the slidably mounted stem 74 of the valve member 75, which is pressed by a spring 76 against the valve seat, thereby closing the openings 77 which admit air into the valve casing 78 which would be connected to the air intake tube 58. While the valve is closed, no air gust occurs up through the nipple 46, and those liquid particles in the casing 41, which are heavy enough, will fall and be drained off into 50 to join the liquid supply to the pump. The patient, in using the apparatus equipped with the valve 80, would open it during inhalations and close it during exhalations, while holding the end of the cable 79 and the button 73 in hand.

The passage through the nipple is of necessity of slim diameter in order to have the required air gust created,

but it should be noted that the container having the obstacle course to deal with the spray after it leaves the nipple, is of relatively large diameter and long in order to attain a proper aerosol. Liquid. particles of sufficient weight collecting on the baflles, the interior wall of the casing and of the nipple, fall off and eventually reach the drain pipe 50 to return as part of the supply to the pump. Any drippings to the floor 49, confined by the understructure 46' of the nipple, pass through small holes 81, 82 and thence to the drain pipe 50.

It is to be further noted that although a pump means has been shown herein as the means to have a supply of pressurized liquid fed to the spray nozzle, it is readily understandable without further illustration, that water issuing from a city supply main, can be fed directly to the nozzle by a suitable hose connection from a tap or spigot to the feed pipe 18 in FIG. 1, or 48 in FIG. 5. In such instance, should it be desired to add a medicament for inclusion in the aerosol made, wick means being saturated with such additive, may be interposed in the casing as 41, in accordance with prior art practice, for a further discussion of which, reference may be had to Patent No. 2,678,044.

In the apparatus of FIG. 5, increase or decrease of motor speed will likewise effect the quality of the aerosol produced.

This invention is capable of numerous forms and various applications without departing from the essential features herein disclosed. It is therefore intended and desired that the embodiments shown herein shall be deemed merely illustrative and not restrictive and that the patent shall cover all patentable novelty herein set forth; reference being had to the following claims rather than to the specific showings and description herein, to indicate the scope of this invention.

I claim:

1. In an apparatus for producing an aerosol for inhalation therapy, a comparatively large casing provided with an outlet and a relatively small tubular inlet having an intake end which is communicative with the atmosphere; said casing enclosing the tubular inlet and having at [least one opening adjacent said inlet for establishing the connection to atmosphere, a nozzle extending into said tubular inlet and positioned to discharge toward said casing; there being a space between the discharge end longitudinal portion of said nozzle and the tubular inlet, for the flow of air therethrough and into the casing; the position of the nozzle being such that particles of liquid issuing therefrom will impinge all around the inner surface of said tubular inlet before entering said casing, means for supplying only a liquid into the nozzle so only liquid passes through the nozzle for discharge into the tubular inlet; said liquid supplying means including a power-driven pump connected with a liquid supply container, forcibly delivering liquid from said container through said nozzle and into said tubular inlet thereby drawing a supply of atmospheric air into the intake end of the tubular inlet and through said tubular inlet and into said casing; said draw of air producing an air flow which drives and carries the spray through the casing, bafile means in the space inside said casing between said tubular inlet and the outlet and in a position to nebulize the particles of liquid spray entering said casing through said tubular inlet from said spraying nozzle and carried through said casing by said air flow; the space between the discharge end longitudinal portion of the nozzle and the tubular inlet, being of such size that the air flow is of such force that it will drive and carry the sprayed liquid particles through the baffle-occupied casing and out of the outlet, and a drain pipe leading substantially from the lowest part of the casing and communicatively connecting the casing with the liquid supply container.

2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said bafile means includes a bafile positioned within said tubular inlet, having a surface opposed to said nozzle.

3. An apparatus as defined in claim 2, wherein said surface is arcuate.

4. An apparatus as defined in claim 2, including means for moving said baflle to alter its distance from the nozzle.

5. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the pump is an electro-magnetic oscillation pump.

6. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the pump is a rotary screw pump.

7. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the bottom wall of the casing is slanted, and said drain pipe leads substantialty from the lowest part of said slanted wall.

8. An apparatus :as defined in claim 1, wherein the casing is horizontal; the tubular inlet being at one end thereof, and the outlet being at the other end thereof; said tubular inlet being horizontal.

9. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the casing is vertical; the tubular inlet being at the lower end thereof, and the outlet being at the upper end thereof; the tubular inlet being vertical and the nozzle being positioned to discharge upwardly.

10. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, including a valve means controlling said opening.

11. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the intake end of the tubular inlet is flared.

12. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the tubular inlet is a Venturi-type structure.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 918,762 4/1909 Meinecke 128194 2,494,837 1/1950 Simmons 103-53 X 2,678,044 5/ 1954 Szekely et a1. 128-494 2,720,388 10/1955 Dorsak et al 128-186 X 2,826,454 3/1958 Coanda 128--173 X 3,001,524 9/1961 Maison et a1 128208 X ROBERT F. BURNETT, Primary Examiner.

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U.S. Classification96/260, 261/75, 55/468, 261/34.1, 96/360, 55/445, 261/78.2, 128/200.18, 96/265, 55/462
International ClassificationA61M11/00, A61M11/06
Cooperative ClassificationA61M11/00, A61M2011/002, A61M11/06
European ClassificationA61M11/00, A61M11/06