US 3429432 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 25, 1969 J. CABERNOCH ET AI. 3,429,432
ASEPTI C PACKAGE Filed O0t. 5, 1967 lnvenfors James L. Cabernoch Kenneth H. Stevens ByM-W Arforney United Statcrs Patent O 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A paperboard container which maintains a sterile condition about an article is weakened by a pair of container girding parallel lines of scoring which, respectively, penetrate the container wall from inside and outside surfaces. Thereby, the container can be pulled apart to enable article removal through a container opening defined by an inner surface which has been protected from contamination by an overlapped container portion.
The present invention relates to aspetic packages. Particularly the invention relates to a package from which a sterile article can be removed without being sullied by surface contaminants.
A conventional package for aspetic articles such as surgical implements or instruments and their trays comprises a paperboard sleeve, for imparting package rigidity to facilitate handling and storage, and a polyethylene overwrap for facilitating content sterilization and retaining content sterility. Normal handling of a conventional package may result in content contamination due to abrasive or other rupture of its polyethylene overwrap, some of which may go undetected and cause associated disastrous consequences. However, the gas perviousness, of polyethylene, by reason of which package contents are readily sterilized, and bacterial impervionsness lend desirable characteristics to a conventional package which far outweight its potential hazard.
Sterile packages in which paperboard is employed as the only enclosure for an article overcome or eliminate the hazard attendant the use of polyethylene. Furthermore, paperboard is bacteria impervious and has desirable breathing characteristics for permitting gas interchange. Moreover, paperboard irnparts toughness and rigidity to a container to facilitate its handling and storage. However, heretofore, save for an overwrap which can be pulled back over the dispensing end of a paperboard sleeve, 110 expedient has been known which eliminates the high risk of contamination about the edges of an opening generated in a paperboard container for removal of aseptic contents.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved aseptic package.
lt is another object of the invention to provide an improved sterile package cornprised of a paperboard container.
It is an additional object of the invention to provide an improved unitary overwrapping structure for an aseptic article.
lt is a further object of the invention to aseptically remove a sterilized article from a container.
It is a yet further object of the invention to permit withdrawal in an aseptic condition of a sterilized article through an opening torn in a rigid package.
The features in a package by which the foregoing bjects are achieved include a container for maintaining a therein disposed article in a sterile condition. The container comprises a pair of sections having an integrated continuous condition in which the sections are arranged in overlapping relationship for aseptically enclosing the article and a discrete condition in which the sections are disconnected each from the other to provide an opening for article removal in one of said sections.
The foregoing and other objects, features and a-dvantages of the invention will become more apparent upon consideration of the following description and appended claims, when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein the Same reference character or numeral refers to like or corresponding arts throughout the several views.
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a package embodying the present invention parts being broken away for the purpose of illustration.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of said package showing a pair of container sections discretely conditioned and disconnected each from the other.
FIG. 3 is a section according to the broken section line 33 of FIG. 2.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, a package 10 which embodies the invention comprises a container 11 and a therein disposed article 12. Herein, the latter is shown as a surgical tray which it is desirable to store in an aseptic condition until it is ready for use. Container 11 may be of rigid paperboard fabrication and formed from a sleeve whose opposite ends 14 and 15 are gable fashioned and aseptically sealed about article 12. Container 11 (once formed) is characterized by a Wall 16 With an outer surface 17 and an inner surface 18 enclosing article 12. The character of the paperboard of the container is such that it is pervious to package distending gases following sterilization according to conventional techniques and impervious to bacteria by reason of which article 12 once sealed within package 10 and sterilized will retain its aseptic condition until package 10 has been broken.
Inasmuch as it is desirable to dispense article 12 aseptically, container 11, in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, comprises a pair of opposite gabled end sections 19 and 20. Said sections have an integrated continuous condition in which they are arranged in overlapping relationship for aseptically enclosing article 12 as illustrated in FIG. l. I-Iowever, each of end sections 19 and 20 has a second or discrete condition in which it is completely disconnected fron1 the other section to provide in one 0f the sections (herein section 19) an opening 21 for removal of article 12. The portions of Wall 16 comprising end sections 19 and 20 and accordingly each of end sections 19 and 20 is defined by a corresponding part of outer surface 17 and inner surface 18. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 outer surface 17 has been removed from about opening 21 when end sections 19 and 20 are discretely conditioned, that is, when they are disconnected each from the other. The latter arrangement or conditioning prevents article 12 from coming in contact with outer surface 17 as it is removed from opening 21 and thereby prevents said article from becoming sullied by outer surface contamination. The desired condition is achieved because outer surface 17 0f end section 20 adjoining section 19 is underlain by inner surface 18 defining opening 21 when said end sections are arranged in integrated continuous condition.
Wall 16 is characterized by an area of weakness 24 (FIG. l) for disconnecting end sections 19 and 20. Said area of weakness in the integrated condition of the container comprises an outer layer 22 which is co-extensive with outer surface 17 and defines an opening 27 in end section 20 when the latter is in its discrete condition. Outer layer 23 when in its integrated condition is superposed and integral with respect to an inner layer 23 which is co-extensive with inner surface 18 and which when discretely conditioned defines opening 21. By reason of area f weakmess 24 end seetions 19 and 20 may be merely pulled apart to generate opemimgs 21 and 27. Area of weakmess 24 is defimed by a pair of parallel lines cf scorimg 25 and 26 which gird contaimer 11 as shown in FIG. 1. Lime of scorimg 25 projects frorm immer surface 18 partially into wall 16; whereas, line 26 projects from outer surface 17 partially into wall 16. As a comsequemce of the foregoimg arramgement, when a pullimg force is exerted at opposite ends 14 and of the comtainer, the outer layer 22 will rnove With the comtainer end sectiom while the immer layer 23 will remain with sectiom 19.
Preferably lines of scoring 25 and 26 are offset toward and 14 so that sectiom 20 im elfect becomes a cap for container sectiom 19. The latter section beimg a larger sectiom will retain the article 12 when the sectioms are separated. Through the exercise 0f a little care, and because the part of outer surface 17 about opeming 21 is removed from about article 12 when the comtainer sectioms are pulled apart, article 12, cam be easily dispensed through opemimg 21 im am umsullied comdition because it cam be readily prevemtecl from engaging outer surface 17.
As mamy substitutions and chamges could be made im the above described comstructiom, and as rnamy apparemtly widely differemt embodiments could be comstructed Without departing from the scope and spirit thereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the accompamyimg specification shall be imterpreted as being illustrative and not in a limitimg semse.
What is claimed is:
1. In a package comprised of a comtaimer defined by a tubular constructiom closed at its opposed emds for maintaining a thereim disposed article im a sterile conditiom, said contaimer havimg am imtegrated comtimuous comdition for aseptically emclosimg said article and a separated comditiom formimg a pair of discomnected sectioms to provide in one thereof an opemimg for article removal, the improverment in said comtainer comprisimg a contimuous Wall with perforatioms extemding partially therethrough from opposite sides and definimg an area cf weakness for discomnecting said sections and forrning overlappimg layers about said openimg.
2. A combimation according to claim 1 in which said area of weakmess comprises a pair of parallel limes of scoring girdimg said comtainer im dilferemt planes.
3. A cornbimatiom according to claim 1 im which said Wall has immer and unter surfaces, one 0f said limes of scorimg extemding into said wall from said immer surface, the other of said limes of scorimg extemdimg into said Wall frorm said outer surface for removimg an oute'r layer comtaimimg said outer surface with ome of said sectioms from abont a part cf am immer layer containimg said immer surface of the other of said sections to prevent extermal surface comtarmimation about said opemimg.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3286832 11/1966 Pilger 20663.2
THERON E. CONDON, Primzzry Examiner.