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Publication numberUS3552083 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 5, 1971
Filing dateJan 9, 1969
Priority dateApr 14, 1965
Publication numberUS 3552083 A, US 3552083A, US-A-3552083, US3552083 A, US3552083A
InventorsAndersen Harold W, Andersen Harold Willids, Harrison Charles H
Original AssigneeAndersen Prod H W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus and method for storing and releasing a volatile substance
US 3552083 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 55,1971 4 w, ANDERSEN ET AL 3,552,083 APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR STORING AND RELEASING A VOLATILE SUBSTANCE Original Filed April 14, 1965 INVENTORS H \u/ILLIDS ANDLILSEN W ANvEnsEm 3nd BYCHARLF-S H HATUHSQN M and W 51 ATTORNEYS United States Patent m 3,552,083 APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR STORING AND RELEASING A VOLATILE SUBSTANCE Harold Willids Andersen, Oyster Bay, Harold W. Andersen, Laurel Hollow, and Charles H. Harrison, Oyster Bay Cove, N.Y., assignors to H. W. Andersen Products, Inc., Oyster Bay, N.Y., a corporation of New York Original application Apr. 14, 1965, Ser. No. 448,090, now Patent No. 3,476,506, dated Nov. 4, 1969. Divided and this application Jan. 9, 1969, Ser. No. 790,100

Int. Cl. B65b 3/04 U.S. Cl. 53-37 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An ampule or the like having a material containing space and a spout connected through a restricted neck, a-

stopper in the neck being penetrated to place the material in the containing space and the spout being sealed after placement of the material.

This application is a division of application Ser. No. 448,090, filed Apr. 14, 1965, now Pat. No. 3,476,506, Nov. 4, 1969.

It is an object of the invention to provide a method and means for safely sealing and storing a volatile and flammable material, such as liquified ethylene oxide or the like, within an ampule or similar container; such material being designed particularly for use in the sterilization system described in said application Ser. No. 448,090.

Referring to the drawing, FIG. 1 represents an elevational view of a sealed ampule, parts being broken away and in section, and FIG. 2 represents a similar view with the top of the ampule broken to release the contents. The ampule is preferably a sealed gas tight container which may be opened by manipulation and which may be made from a breakable material such as glass. The ampule 10 is provided with a stopper 18 constructed of a self-sealing material such as natural rubber. The stopper 18 is inserted into the spout 28 of the glass ampule 10 through the open top thereof and firmly seated in the narrow neck 31 of the ampule prior to filling of the latter with liquid ethylene oxide. An open top on the spout is not shown in the drawings but it will be understood that the spout is initially formed this way and subsequently sealed as will be described. The ampule 10 is filled under pressure with the sterilant by a cannula such as a hollow bore hypodermic needle which is inserted through the stopper 18 into the body of the ampule. The stopper 13, which as previously mentioned, is self-sealing, closes the hole made by the hypodermic needle after the latter is withdrawn, acts as an effective barrier between the ethylene oxide vapor and the mouth of the ampule so that the open top of the ampule may be heat sealed at 20 as by a propane-oxygen flame without igniting the vapor of the sterilant. The stopper 18 may be provided with an axial passageway 19 which stops short of the axial length of the stopper to provide a guide for the hypodermic needle and to provide a thinner wall for the needle to penetrate.

When sealed in the ampule the ethylene oxide is maintained largely in a liquid state, as represented by the numeral 22 in the bottom of the ampule 10, by the vapor pressure of the gaseous sterilant thereabove.

After sealing of the ampule 10, the latter may be placed in a protective flexible sleeve 24 so that sharp edges or spikes of glass resulting from the breaking off of the top of the ampule in order to release the contents, will not damage a bag or other receptacle in which the ampule may be placed.

3,552,083 Patented Jan. 5, 1971 By way of example this protective sleeve 24 may be a cylindrical vinyl tube of 3 inch thickness in which the open ends project beyond the ends of the ampule.

The release of the contents of the ampule is accomplished by manual fracturing or breaking off the spout 28 of the glass ampule 10 along a score line 30 preformed around the narrow neck 31 of the ampule. Thus, it will be evident that it is a relatively simple operation to grasp the spout 28 of the ampule 10 with one hand by compressing the sleeve 24 adjacent thereto, to grasp the main body of the ampule 10 with the other hand and to cant the spout 28 and thereby break it ofl. This operation is best shown in FIG. 2. In order to insure that the plug 18 is removed from the main body of the ampule when the spout 28 is snapped off, the plug 18 may be provided with a portion above the neck 31 of the ampule which is relatively larger than the portion below the neck 31. Thus it will be seen in FIG. 1 that the converging walls at the neck of the ampule above the score line 30 will prevent the larger upper portion of the plug 12 from coming out of the spout 28 of the ampule as the spout is snapped off while the smaller lower portion will be compressed sufliciently due to its resilience to squeeze past the converging walls at the neck of the ampule below the score line 30'. The release of the lower portion of the stopper 18 from the main body of the ampule is further facilitated by the pressure of the sterilant in the ampule acting thereon. This operation is well shown in FIG. 2.

If it is desired to further control the release of sterilant from the ampule, the sterilant may be compounded with a substantially saturated hydrocarbon. Thus, the essentially saturated hydrocarbon may be dissolved or dispersed in a liquid sterilant. For example, ethylene oxide may be mixed or absorbed into an essentially saturated hydrocarbon such as polystyrene. Dissolving the ethylene oxide in polystyrene will form a gel such that the release of ethylene oxide therefrom will not be as rapid as is the release of ethylene oxide vapor from pure ethylene oxide liquid. This retardation is brought about because the polystyrene lowers the vapor pressure and hence increases the boiling point of the ethylene oxide. The vaporization of ethylene oxide from the surface of the gel cools the surface, hardening the gel and causing it to form a membrane on the surface which further inhibits release. If desired, cotton Webbing or other materials may be used to slow down the vaporization of the sterilant.

As an alternate embodiment, the stopper used in the neck of the ampule may be inserted after the ampule is filled by maintaining the filling apparatus at a temperature below the boiling point of the sterilant. Thus, the sterilant may be gelled, as previously mentioned, prior to the filling of the ampule so that the gelled compound may be placed in the ampule through the open neck. The ampule stopper is then seated in the neck and acts as a vapor barrier between the body of the ampule and the neck at the time of heat sealing.

From the above, it will be evident that the illustrated apparatus and method provide for safely filling an ampule with a volatile and flammable sterilant and also facilitatesrelease of the sterilant from the ampule when desired.

What is claimed is:

1. The method of storing a volatile and flammable liquid such as ethylene oxide or the like, comprising the steps of providing a container in "which the liquid is to be stored, inserting and firmly seating a resilient stopper having self-sealing properties in a narrow neck portion of an open end spout on said container, supplying said container with said volatile liquid via a temporary opening made in said stopper which is closed after the container has been supplied due to the self-sealing properties of the stopper, and applying a source of heat to the open end of the spout to heat seal the latter as the stopper acts as a protective barrier between the volatile liquid in the container and said heat source.

2. A method of storing a volatile and flammable liquid such as ethylene oxide or the like, comprising the steps of providing a container in which the liquid is to be stored, inserting and firmly seating a resilient stopper in a narrow neck portion of an open end spout on said container, piercing said stopper with a hollow bore cannula such that the latter communicates with the interior of the container, supplying said liquid under pressure to said container through said hollow bore cannula, withdrawing said cannula from said stopper and simultaneously sealing the opening in said stopper made by said cannula by allowing the resiliency of the stopper to close said opening, and applying a source of heat to the open end of the spout to heat seal the latter as the stopper acts as a protective barrier between the volatile liquid in the container and said heat source.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1916 Loepsinger 53-37X 12/1916 Stockton 5337X 9/1924 Waite 206-63.2X

5/1929 Gibson 5336X 4/1940 Barr 53-l4X 7/1943 Reichel 21532 3/1945 Baerwald 5321UX THERON E. COND-ON, Primary Examiner R. L. SPRUILL, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4226376 *Oct 12, 1978Oct 7, 1980Pfleger Frederick WAmpule breaker
US4353869 *Jan 9, 1981Oct 12, 1982Guth Richard UAmpoule assembly and holder
US4405069 *Apr 14, 1981Sep 20, 1983Ghislain VivierAmpoule breaker
US4417679 *Oct 30, 1981Nov 29, 1983Walter ShieldsAmpule opener
US4659024 *Oct 21, 1985Apr 21, 1987Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.Ampul opening device
US4793538 *Jul 14, 1986Dec 27, 1988Ab Vastsvensk MedicinteknikArrangement for the manual breaking of ampoules
US5555704 *Sep 24, 1993Sep 17, 1996A-Bio-Vac Inc.Sterilization system
US7547293Oct 6, 2006Jun 16, 2009Bioject, Inc.Triggering mechanism for needle-free injector
US7744563Jun 29, 2010Bioject, Inc.Needle-free injection devices and drug delivery systems therefor
US8105272Jan 31, 2012Bioject, Inc.Triggering mechanism for a needle-free injector
US9132457 *Mar 21, 2012Sep 15, 2015Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd.Method for handling broken piece and broken piece handling bag for use with the method
US20080208114 *Feb 25, 2008Aug 28, 2008Sergio LandauNeedle-free injection devices and drug delivery systems therefor
US20100301089 *Jun 1, 2010Dec 2, 2010Mueller FrankAmpule Breaking Aid
US20120310203 *Jan 18, 2011Dec 6, 2012Cambridge Enterprise LimitedApparatus and method
US20130209001 *Mar 21, 2012Aug 15, 2013Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co. Ltd.Method for Handling Broken Piece and Broken Piece Handling Bag for Use with The Method
EP0269003A2 *Nov 19, 1987Jun 1, 1988Toppan Printing Co., Ltd.Ampoule package
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/468, 241/99, 53/478
International ClassificationA61B17/06, A61B19/00, A61L2/20, A61B19/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61L2/20, A61B17/06133, A61B17/06119, A61B17/06128, A61B2019/0274
European ClassificationA61B17/06P2T, A61B17/06P4, A61B17/06P2, A61L2/20