US 3357427 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 12, 1967 J. M. WITTKE ETAL 3, AEROSOL INTRODUCER DEVICE FOR DISPENSING A MEASURED CHARGE OF THERAPEUTIC COMPOSITION INTO BODY CAVITIES Filed April 2 1965 2 Sheets-$heet l i' ilmlml;
- R1 f if INVENTORS JOHN M. WITTKE RICHARD M MONAHON ATTORNEYS Dec. 12, 1967 J. M. WITTKE ET'AL 3,357,427
v AEROSOL INTRODUCER DEVICE FOR DISPENSING A MEASURED CHARGE OF THERAPEUTIC COMPOSITION INTO BODY CAVITIES Filed April El, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS JOHN MWITTKE RICHARD MMONAHON ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,357 427 AEROSOL INTRODUCER DEVICE FOR DISPENS- ING A MEASURED CHARGE OF THERAPEUTIC COMPOSITIUN INTO BODY CAVITIES John M. Wittke, 10 Breezelrnoll Drive, Westfield, NJ.
07090, and Richard M. Monahon, Childs Roads, Basking Ridge, NJ. 07920 Filed Apr. 21, 1965, Ser. No. 449,747 10 Claims. (Cl. 128235) This invention relates to a simple and inexpensive device for measuring a predetermined charge of a foam-like therapeutic, cosmetic or similar composition from a container having self-contained pressure dispensing means, and thereafter dispensing the metered charge from the device into a body cavity or other locale intended to receive the same, wherein the valved container is employed a the dispensing means and is positively prevented from inadvertent discharge at such time.
More particularly, the present invention comprise an easily fabricated, readily assembled transfer tube assembly which may be telescopically associated With a disposable aerosol cartridge and actuator therefor, for example, wherein the several components thereof may be readily disassembled for cleaning or storage and thence easily reassembled. Further our invention is characterized by extreme simplicity of operation whereby a predetermined dosage of roduct may be initially expelled from the aerosol container into the transfer tube, and thereafter the dosage injected into a body cavity from the transfer tube.
It is therefore a principal object of our invention to provide an introducer device of the type contemplated which while being fabricated of mechanically simple elements, is yet accurate and foolproof in operation.
A further object of our invention is to provide an introducer assembly for use with aerosol cartridges wherein the aerosol container itself is effectively employed as the dosage-expelling plunger while positively preventing inadvertent actuation of the aerosol valve during dosageexpulsion, thereby providing a materially simplified and foolproof device as compared with prior art assemblies.
A further significant object of our invention resides in the positive and easily effected means of preventing inadvertent discharge from the aerosol container during charge-expulsion, thereby complying with Federal and State health regulations which prohibit use of an aerosol container for direct entry into the human body which might discharge more than the prescribed dosage.
Other objects and advantages of our invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation shOWing our introducer device in section and wherein the aerosol container proper i illustrated in full lines;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation in section disclosing the container-locating tongues in digitally operative position, and also illustrating in section a representative aerosol valve assembly associated with the container;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the device with the aerosol container fully tclescoped in charge-expelling position, the discharge end of the transfer tube being shown partly in section;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the device showing the manner in which it is readily grasped and manipulated by the user;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional side elevation of a modified transfer tube assembly, and,
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional side elevation of a second modified form of the transfer tube assembly.
Referring to the drawings, the introducer assembly 10 of our invention is telescopically associated with an elongated container 12 having self-contained pressure dispensing means, which may be for example of the aerosol type. The aerosol container 12 includes an elongated body 14 of drawn aluminum or the like filled with a fluidized mixture of the therapeutic composition and an atomized aerosol propellant. The composition may be, for example, a contraceptive foam, a rectal medicinal agent, etc. The body 14 is closed in the illustrated embodiment by a crimped-on closure 16 which retains a conventional valve assembly as at 18 in normally sealed relation to the container orifice centrally of closure 16. The aerosol container 12 is further provided with a snap-on actuator element 20 of resilient plastic material which includes a generally bulbous head 29 and a skirt 32, there being a dispensing bore 22 centrally thereof aligned with the aperture in the aerosol container closure 16. The actuator 20 is readily detachably snapped onto the container 12 by means of inwardly projecting lugs or cars 24 carried by actuator skirt 32 which frictionally engage the closure 16 at the crimped or inwardly spun portion thereof.
The container 12 as noted is received within the introducer assembly 10 which includes a transfer tube 26, provided with a smoothly rounded end 27 having a dispensing orifice 48. The tube 26 is preferably of a relatively transparent plastic material. The other or rearmost end of transfer tube 26 carries a container guiding portion 28 provided with a rearwardly facing stop shoulder 30 which cooperates as disclosed hereinafter with a cap element 31 releasably frictionally fitted upon the container body 14. In the embodiment of FIGS. 13, guiding portion 28 is illustrated as a plastic sleeve member which is frictionally fitted upon the end of transfer tube 26, being releasably retained thereupon by cooperating flange and groove means 42 between the sleeve and transfer tube, whereby the sleeve 28 may be detachably secured in fixed axial relation to the transfer tube 26. Further, the inside diameter of sleeve 28 is slightly less than that of tube 26, thereby to provide a shoulder at 44 to limit rearward movement of the aerosol container 14 and associated actuator 20 relative to the tube 26, as the skirt 32 of the actuator engages shoulder 44. Sleeve 28 is further provided with an exterior annular rib 46 to aid in manual grasping thereof.
It will be seen that the actuator skirt 32 snugly and slidably fits the bore of transfer tube 26, and that actuator 20 is provided with an outwardly facing peripheral recess 34 between the skirt 32 and the bulbous head or plunger portion 29. The transfer tube 26 is provided with a pair of diametrically opposed U-shaped lits 36 which define a pair of depressible container-locating tongues 38. The tongues 38 may be provided with integrally molded outwardly extending flanges at 40 to facilitate positioning of the thumb and forefinger thereupon.
The lengthwise dimensions of the introducer assembly 10, aerosol container 12 and its actuator 20 bear a predetermined relation to each other. In particular, the distance between the dispensing orifice 48 of tube 26 and the tip 29 of actuator 20 is slightly greater than the distance between shoulder 30 of sleeve 28 and the confronting face 33 of cap 31 when the container and actuator are slidably received within tube 30 in fully retracted position with the actuator skirt 32 abutting against internal forwardly facing shoulder 44 of sleeve 28, for a purpose hereinafter to be described.
The mode of operation and use of the introducer assembly above described is as follows:
With the aerosol container 14 extended from the transfer tube 26 substantially as shown in FIG. 1, the assembly is conveniently grasped as seen in FIG. 4 with the thumb and middle finger placed upon tongues 33 and the index finger upon the cap 31. Thereafter, the thumb and middle finger are urged together sufficiently to depresstongues 38 into groove 34, FIG. 2, after which the index finger is employed to shift the aerosol container 14 toward tube 26. It will be seen that the forward portion of skirt 32 will engage the now inwardly flexed tongues 38, thereby to locate and limit further telescoping movement. of actuator 20, whereby continued index finger pressure will shift container 14 toward the now fixed actuator 20, thereby to unseat valve 18 and cause a charge of the foam-like therapeutic composition within the aerosol container to be expelled through actuator bore 22 into the transfer tube 26. The foam-like composition being under pressure is caused to flow through communicating passage means between the valve 18 and actuator bore 22 upon unseating of the valve in a manner well known to those skilled in the art. An example of conventional communicating passage means between a valve actuator and valve assembly such as 18 is shown in the US. Patent to Gorman 3,108,590, dated October 29, 1963.
Inasmuch as the transfer sleeve 26 is preferably formed of transparent material, it can readily be visibly determined when the foam material has substantially filled the tube to provide a predetermined dosage. If the sleeve 26 is of opaque material, or if operating conditions provide insufficient light, manual detection of the foam material at discharge orifice 48 will tactually indicate that the transfer tube has received the desired charge from container 12.
Thereupon, the tongues 38 are released, permitting the same to return by their inherent resilience to the FIG. 1 position, and the transfer tube 26 is introduced into the body cavity or otherwise applied under the prescribed conditions for use. The device is grasped by the element 28 adjacent the flange 46 and the index finger fully telescopes the cartridge 14 and actuator 20 as a unit, within the transfer tube 26 to thereby cause the plunger-like end portion 29 of actuator 20 to serve as a piston, and expel the metered charge within the transfer tube through the dispensing orifice 48 into the body cavity or other locale.
In thus employing the device wherein the multidosage aerosol container and the actuator head 20 therefor serve as a plunger assembly, it is important to note the function performed by end cap 31 frictionally fitted on the container as a result of the above-discussed dimensional relationships. As the metered charge is expelled by telescoping advancement of the actuator cap 20, it will be seen the latter closely approaches the discharge orifice 48 to maximize expulsion and minimize wastage. Prior to actual contact with tube end 27, however, and as clearly seen in FIG. 3, the forward face 33 of cap 31 engages rearwardly facing shoulder 30 of sleeve 28 thereby to positively stop further telescoping movement of the container and actuator with respect to the transfer tube 26.
In this manner there is positively prevented any inadvertent further discharge of pressurized composition from the aerosol container, which would occur should the actuator 20 abut the end wall 27 of tube 26 to then again unseat the valve 18. It will be readily appreciated that with various therapeutic, medicinal or chemical compositions, it is essential that only the predetermined dosage be supplied or injected, and it is further apparent that a device, especially one utilizing a pressurized aerosol, which does not provide means for positively preventing accidental additional excess discharge, is in fact unacceptable, despite any other advantages. The structure of our invention achieves thi end in a highly novel and error-free manner, yet with a minimum of parts and with maximum simplicity in fabrication and assembly.
Prior to reuse of the introducer assembly, it may be required or advisable to clean the component parts of the assembly. With the instant construction this can be readily accomplished. Thus, end cap 31 can be readily removed from its flip fit with the container 12, sleeve 28 unsnapped from the transfer tube 26, the container 14 and actuator 20 withdrawn from the tube, and the actuator 20 removed from the aerosol container. The several component parts may then be cleansed, and with equal facility reassembled for further use.
In FIG. 5 there is shown a slightly modified form of the introducer assembly wherein the depressible tongues 38 integrally formed with tube 26 as seen in FIGS. l3 are eliminated. Rather, the transfer tube 26a is provided with peripherally opposed apertures 56. The modified sleeve 28a is provided with a pair of forwardly extending resilient fingers 52, sleeve 28a being snap fitted onto the sleeve 26 as before. Sleeve 28a and tube 26a are provided with conventional radial key means as at 54 to insure proper circumferential orientation of the fingers relative to tube apertures 50.
In the form of FIG. 6, the transfer tube 260 is of exended length as compared with FIGS. 1 and 5, terminating in a rear stop face 60 against which the end cap 31 (FIG. 1) engages during dosage expulsion as before. The transfer tube 260 is provided with apertures 50a similar to those at 50, FIG. 5, and also a plurality of smaller apertures 62 rearwardly thereof. There is also provided an annular sleeve 64 of resilient plastic or rubber which includes a pair of depressible tongues 66 which are inwardly deflectable through apertures 50a in the manner of the tongues 38 and 52. Inwardly extending lugs 68 toward the rear of sleeve 64 engage the apertures 62 in the extended tube 260 to orient the depressible tongues 66 as well as releasably secure the sleeve 64 onto the transfer tube 260, the device working as before.
In all forms of the invention, it will be seen that the entire assembly, including the aerosol or other pressuredispensing container is exceedingly compact and lends itself to ready storage before or after use by telescoping the several elements to the collapsed condition of FIG. 3, and similarly may be marketed or shipped in this manner, thereby providing economies in packaging, etc.
While the introducer device has been disclosed as employed with a container 14 utilizing the well known aerosol mixture of composition and propellant, it is apparent that the advantages of our invention resulting from the unique cooperative structure thereof may be equally readily realized with containers of similar external appearance wherein the products therewithin are dispensed therefrom by any self-contained pressure means known in the art. Thus, the dispensed composition may be isolated from the propellant within the container by an internal piston or by an internal collapsible means, whereby pressure dispensing of the contents is achieved, as well as by the usual aerosol means.
What is claimed is:
1. An introducer device for use with an elongated pressure-dispensing valved container containing a fluidized composition and having an axially shiftable valve actuator provided with a dispensing bore therethrough, comprising:
an elongated metering and transfer tube for receiving said container and actuator in telescoping relation thereto, said tube having a restricted dispensing orifice at one end and having its other end open to receive said container,
said transfer tube adapted to have a snug sliding peripheral fit with said actuator member thereby to define a piston-like surface at the end of said actuator,
manual shiftable detent means carried by said tube adjacent said tube other end adapted for releasably retaining said actuator against axial movement in either direction thereby to permit actuation of said valve by movement of said container relative to said actuator for ejecting a charge of said fluidized composition from said container into said tube between said dispensing orifice and said actuator.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said shiftable detent meanscornprise a plurality of flexible tongues disposed in circumferentially spaced relation about the tube periphery, and means mounting said tongues for radially inward shifting movement relative to said tube.
3. The device of claim 2 wherein said tongues are integrally formed with said transfer tube and are defined by substantially U-shaped slits through said tube.
4. The device of claim 2 wherein said tongues are carried by a sleeve member mounted externally upon said tube, and said tube is provided with spaced apertures in aligned relation with each said tongue.
5. The device of claim 1 wherein said tube is formed of transparent material to thereby permit visual inspection of the fluidized composition injected thereinto.
6. An introducer assembly for body cavities for measuring and dispensing a metered charge of therapeutic composition comprising:
an elongated transfer tube having a dispensing orifice at its forward end and having its other end open and adapted for slidable reception therewithin of an elongated valved aerosol container containing a therapeutic composition,
an actuator disposed within said tube for detachable engagement with the aerosol container, said actuator having a substantially axial bore providing communication between the aerosol container and a metering portion bore of said tube extending toward the forward end thereof, said actuator having an enlarged head snugly and slidably engaging the bore of said tube to define a plunger portion thereof at its forward end,
manual shiftable detent means for releasably retaining said actuator against sliding movement adjacent said tube other end during axial movement of said container relative thereto, thereby to actuate said valve and expel the therapeutic composition through said axial bore into said metering portion bore.
7. An introducer device for use with an elongated pressure-dispensing valved container containing a fluidized therapeutic composition and having an axially shiftable valve actuator provided with a dispensing bore therethrough, comprising:
an elongated metering and transfer tube adapted for receiving said container and actuator in telescoping relation thereto, said tube having a restricted dispensing orifice at its forward end and having its rearward end open to define a rearwardly facing annular shoulder for surrounding said container,
a plurality of circumferentially spaced actuator-locating tongues carried by said tube and mounted for shifting movement radially inwardly of said tube up on exertion of digital pressure thereupon to thereby releasably engage and hold said actuator against axial shifting movement,
and a cap-like member adapted to be frictionally mounted upon the rear end of said container and provided with a forwardly facing shoulder for enga ing said rearwardly facing shoulder to thereby limit telescoping movement between said tube and said container.
8. An assembly for dispensing measured quantities of foam-like composition comprising in combination:
an elongated pressure-dispensing container containing a foam-like composition and having a valve controlling flow therefrom,
a shiftable actuator for said valve element,
said actuator having a dispensing bore providing communication with the container when said valve is opened,
an elongated transfer tube receiving said container and actuator in telescoping relation therewithin,
said tube having a dispensing orifice at one end and its other end open to receive said container and actuator, said actuator snugly and slidably engaging the bore of said tube to define a plunger portion thereof at its forward end,
manual shiftable detent means for releasably holding said actuator in a first predetermined position to permit motion relative thereto of said container to actuate said valve and eject a charge of composition into said tube,
and means for preventing relative movement between said actuator and said container to further actuate said valve as said actuator and container are telescoped as a unit to a second predetermined position within said tube.
9. The device of claim 8 wherein said last named means comprises axially engageable stop elements carried by said tube and said container respectively for limiting charge-ejecting telescoping movement of said actuator and said container relative to said tube.
10. The device of claim 9 wherein said stop elements comprise a cap detachably carried on said container and a rearwardly facing shoulder on said tube other end.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,065,795 12/ 1936 Colvin 128-230 2,710,006 6/1955 Barnhart 128251 2,861,571 11/1958 Sandhage et a1. 128218 2,869,543 1/1959 Ratcliif et a1 128-218 2,945,494 7/1960 Bowen 128-218 3,067,784 12/1962 Gorman 128-251 X 3,108,590 10/1963 Gorman 128-225 X 3,110,311 11/1963 Lundahl 128--225 3,154,076 10/ 1964 ODonnell 128260 3,220,413 11/1965 Sunnen 128-261 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. R. L. FRINKS, Assistant Examiner.