US 3315660 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Ap 1967 c. A. ABELLA CAPSULE FOR INSERTION IN DIGESTIVE TRACT Filed Aug. 8, 1963 INVENTOR CARLOS ALBERTO ABELLA BY W W ATTORNEYS United States Patent ice 3,315,660 CAPSULE FOR INSERTIUN IN THE DIGESTIVE TRACK Carlos A. Abella, Blvd. Artigas 428, Montevideo, Uruguay Filed Aug. 8, 1963, Ser. No. 300,773 2 Claims. (Cl. 128-2) The present invention relates to a capsule for insertion into the digestive tract for treatmet or examination of the same more particularly, to such a capsule having a magnetically responsive valve therein for closing a passage between the capsule chamber and the exterior of the capsule, which valve is actuated by a magnetic field from an exterior source.
The capsule of the present invention is utilized in clinical, physiological and physiop'athological examination or treatment of the digestive tract. The use of the capsule comprises the ingestion by the patient of this capsule which is of such a size and shape that it can be readily swallowed with ease. The movement of the capsule along the digestive tract can be observed by the operator conducting the tests by means of X-rays or the like. When the capsule reaches the predetermined sector of interest in which a particular study is to be made, it is opened by a magnetic field from a source exterior of the body of the patient so as to extract samples of the medium in which the capsule is present, or to discharge the contents of the capsule into the medium, or both. Thus, the capsule collects samples of the contents of the digestive tract at different levels in a simple manner without disturbances or discomfort to the patient. With these samples any desired tests can be made, such as chemical, enzymatic, cytological, bacteriological or parasitological, in accordance with the section of the digestive tract under consideration and based upon the study or treatment being carried out.
The capsule can also be employed to expose to the digestive secretion of a given zone a wide variety of substances, such as foods, organic or inorganic chemicals, medicainents or the like. The capsule can then extract a sample of the fluids in this zone. The capsule with its contents is then recovered after it has been passed by the patient. The contents of the capsule can then be carefully analyzed to determine the effect of these substances on the digestive fluids and vice versa.
The capsule of this invention makes it possible to per form all of the analyses mentioned above and others which have not been specifically mentioned and to extend them to zones of the alimentary canal practically unexplored until the present time.
The capsule can also be used to discharge particular chemicals, medicaments, radioactive isotopes into desired zones of the digestive tract without having these substances act on other portions of the alimentary canal.
It is apparent that the use of these capsules in the abovementioned and many other ways opens up a vast field of research in biology, physiology, physiopathology, bacteriology, digestive pathology and general pathology and their relations wit-h the digestive processes. The results of such research are more accurate because the absence of danger and discomfort to the patient does not vary the patients psychological condition and consequently has no effects on the digestive sphere.
angsta Patented Apr. 25, 1967 These capsules as described above are provided with a magnetically responsive valve for opening and closing a passage between a chamber in the capsule and the exterior of the capsule, or between two chambers of the capsule. This valve could be actuated by the application of a magnetic field from an exterior source in order to open the passage.
It is therefore the principal object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved capsule for insertion into the digestive tract for examination or treatment thereof.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved valve structure and actuating means for a valve employed in a capsule adapted for insertion into the digestive tract.
In view of the foregoing, extensive investigations were carried out in order to decrease the strength of the magnetic field necessary in order to actuate the movable valve in the capsule. As a result of these investigations, a capsule has been devised containing several improvements in the valve and valve actuating structures.
The capsule of the present invention essentially comprises a chamber having a passage in the wall of the chamber communicating with the exterior of the capsule. A valve of paramagnetic material is positioned to cooperate with the passage to open and close the same with the valve being held in a normally closed position by a spring. The spring exerts a closing force on the valve which is greater than the force exerted by the difference in pressures between the chamber and the exterior of the capsule.
A valve actuating member comprising a magnetizable material is positioned Within the capsule. Accordingly, when the actuating member is energized by an exterior source of magnetism, the valve will be moved against the force of the spring to open the passage. Terminating application of the magnetic field will cause the spring to return the valve to its closed position. The spring is positioned to act against forces tending to open the valve. These forces may include either a vacuum or pressure within the capsule. Thus, the energization of the actuating member acts in conjunction with these forces and the combination of the actuating forces and the forces tending to open the valve are suflicient to overcome the action of the spring, but the total actuating force which must be produced from the external source of magnetism is now greatly reduced.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent upon reference to the accompanying description when taken in conjunction with the following drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a capsule according to the present invention and particularly adapted for obtaining samples of gastric liquids;
FIGURE 2 is a bottom end view of the capsule shown in FIGURE 1 showing the openings in the capsule;
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to that of FIGURE 1 and showing a modification thereof;
FIGURE 4 is a longitudinal sectional view of a capsule according to the present invention for discharging substances inside the digestive tract; and
FIGURE 5 is a view similar to that of FIGURE 4, and showing a modification thereof.
Returning now to the drawings wherein like reference symbols indicate the same parts throughout the various IIBWS, there is shown in FIGURE 1 a capsule 1 which s particularly adapted for obtaining samples of the contents of the digestive tract. The capsule is of such a size and shape that it can be readily swallowed by a patient Without any discomfort. The capsule is made of an appropriate material, transparent or opaque, such as glass, metal or plastic. If the material is not inert to the digestive fluids or to the treating substances enclosed in the capsule, the capsule may be coated with an inert material.
The interior of the capsule defines a chamber 2. One end of the capsule, indicated at 3, is provided with an opening 4 across which is positioned a cross-like member 5 as may be seen in FIGURE 2.
Within the capsule extending from the end 3 is a valve housing 6 having a passage 7 therein which provides communication between the interior of the capsule and the exterior thereof. A valve member 8 of paramagnetic material is provided to cooperate with the passage 7 and is held in a normally closed position by a spring 9. One end of the spring 9 is attached to the valve member 8 and the other end is attached to the central portion of the cross member 5.
A magnetizable body 10 is positioned within the chamber 2 and comprises a bar so as not to obstruct the flow of substances into or out of the capsule during the operation thereof. Accordingly, the magnetizable valve actuating member 10 does not cover the entire cross sectional area of the interior of the capsule. If this magnetizable member is made in the form of a disc extending across the inner cross section, a number of openings or perforations are provided therein in order to permit free flow of substances within the capsule.
The other end of the capsule 1 is closed by a selfsealing member 11 made of an elastic material and penetrable by a needle. This member 11 may be punctured by means of a punching element such as an injecting needle in order to introduce or remove fluids from the chamber 2. On removal of the needle, the opening made by the needle, the opening made by the needle will seal itself because of the inherent elasticity of the elastic member.
Since the capsule shown in FIGURE 1 is intended for collecting samples in the digestive tract, the flow of substances will be into the capsule in the direction indicated by the arrow 12 and a vacuum must be maintained within the chamber 2 in order to collect the samples of gastric juices when the capsule has been positioned within the digestive tract. Accordingly, the force exerted by the spring 9 will be greater than the forces exerted by the vacuum within the chamber 2. Thus, the force exerted by the spring 9 is greater than the differences in pressure in the chamber and the exterior of the capsule.
When the capsule has been positioned within the tract, a magnetic field is created outside of the patients body from a suitable exterior source. The magnetizable valve actuating member 10 will then be energized and will attract the valve member 8 to open the passage 6 as shown in FIG. 1. The force exerted by the actuating member and the vacuum will overcome the force exerted by the spring 9. Opening of the passage 7 will permit flow of fluids into the chamber 2 because of the vacuum therein. After the capsule has collected the desired quantity of gastric or intestinal fluids, the application of the magnetic field is terminated and the resulting de-energization of the valve actuating member 10 will permit the valve member 8 to be returned to its closed position under the action of the spring 9. The action of the spring 9 is not limited or reduced by any vacuum within the chamber since this vacuum has now disappeared because of the introduction of the fluids therein.
In the modification illustrated in FIGURE 3, the valve member 8a is urged in the closing position by the spring 9a but the valve member is capable of movement to one side or the other of the communicating passage 7a. The
A. valve actuating member comprises a flat semi-cylindrical body 13 which extends over an angle of about 180.
Energization of this magnetizable body 13 in a manner as described previously will cause the valve member 8a to be moved to one side of the opening 7a and the vacuum initially formed within the chamber 2a will cause fluids to flow into the capsule. The general operation of this modification is substantially similar to the capsule of FIGURE 1.
When it is desired to discharge particular substances within the digestive tract, then modifications of the capsule as shown in FIGURES 4 and 5 can be used.
In the capsule of FIGURE 4, one end 14 of the capsule 1b is provided with a stopper 15 which has a cavity 16 into which air under pressure is injected by suitable means. The substance which is to be discharged into the digestive tract is contained within the chamber 2b. The body 1b of the capsule is formed of two parts 17 and 18 with the bottom 19 of the part 17 being provided with a passage 71). The opening 71) of this modification is somewhat larger in diameter than the openings of the modifications of FIGURES 1 and 3. A recess 20 is formed around the passage 17 to define a valve seat for the valve member Sb.
A spring 91) for retaining the valve member 8b in a closed position has one end fastened to the capsule part 18 and surrounds a guide rod 21. The capsule part 18 is provided with openings 22 for communicating with the exterior of the capsule.
In the operation of this modification of FIGURE 4, air under pressure is introduced into the cavity 16. The spring 912 acts to partially offset the action of this pressure. Energization of the valve actuating member 161) in a. manner as described previously will move the valve member 8b against the pressure within the chamber 2b to open the passage 7b whereby the substance in the chamber 2b will be expelled from the capsule.
The modification of FIGURE 5 is similar to the arrangement of FIGURE 4, but differs in that the spring 9c acts against a stop member 23 which is on the end of the guide rod 21c opposite from that end upon which the valve member is mounted. In this modification the magnetizable valve actuating body 10c is positioned at one end of the capsule 24, so as to pull the valve downwardly against the force of the spring into open position when the magnetic field is applied. Accordingly, the openings communicating between the interior and exterior of the capsule and indicated at 22c, are placed in the lateral walls of the capsule.
In both of the modifications of FIGURES 4 and 5, the springs will operate to close the valve member when ever the energization of the valve actuating member from exterior of the capsule is terminated. This feature enables the substance within the capsule to be discharged partially as the capsule reaches predetermined positions in the digestive tract.
Thus it can be seen that the present invention provides a capsule whose valve member can be readily actuated from a source exterior of the capsule, but wherein a considerably smaller force is required to move the valve member into the open position. The present capsule provides a simple and effective device for selectively obtaining samples of fluids in the digestive tract or for discharging substances into predetermined positions within the digestive tract.
It will be understood that this invention is susceptible to modification in order to adapt it to different usages and conditions and, accordingly, it is desired to comprehend such modifications within this invention as may fall within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A capsule for insertion into the digestive tract for examination and treatment of the latter and comprising a wall of self-sealing elastic material penetratable by a needle, a chamber having a passage to the outside thereof, a magnetically responsive valve for closing said passage, a spring in the capsule for urging the valve into passage-closing position, and a magnetizable member carried by the capsule close to but spaced from the valve in such a position that it will open the valve against the force of the spring upon application of a magnetic fie-ld from without, but will permit the spring to return the valve to passage-closing position upon removal of the magnetic field.
2. The capsule of claim 1, wherein the wall of elastic material has a cavity therein.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,958,781 11/1960 Marchal et al. 3,057,344 9/ 1962 Abella et al. 128-2 3,118,439 1/1964 Perrenoud 1282 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. Y
0 SIMON BRODER, Examiner.