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Publication numberUS3770113 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 6, 1973
Filing dateMar 3, 1972
Priority dateMar 3, 1972
Publication numberUS 3770113 A, US 3770113A, US-A-3770113, US3770113 A, US3770113A
InventorsM Thomas
Original AssigneeMcd Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Contact lens holder
US 3770113 A
Abstract
A lens holder is disclosed that includes a base having first and second corresponding convex surfaces on opposite sides with a pivot axis on the base adjacent the surfaces. First and second cover members of identical construction cooperate with opposite sides of the base and are pivoted on the pivot axis. The identical cover members each include a concave surface corresponding in configuration to the convex surfaces on the base and a pair of arms on one end of each cover member that define pivot surfaces. The pivot surfaces receive the pivot axis and the arms are positioned so that the first and second cover members have lateral edges aligned with each other, when the arms of the cover members are operatively engaged with the pivot axis. The cover members each include latch means releasably retaining the cover member in a closed position on the base in which the convex and concave surfaces are in juxtaposed relation to each other. The base is removably secured to a cap and the cap is adapted to be removably coupled to a container with the cap, base and cover positioned to locate the base in the container when the cap is coupled to the container. In addition, the cap defines a maximum pivoted position for the cover members when it is secured to the container to prevent separation of the cover members from the base, while the cover members can readily be separated from the base when the base is removed from the cap.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Thomas 1 1 Nov. 6, 1973 CONTACT LENS HOLDER [75] Inventor: Michael D. Thomas, Elmhurst, Ill.

[73] Assignee: MCD Corporation, Bensenville, Ill.

[22] Filed: Mar. 3, 1972 [2]] Appl. No.: 231,665

[52] U.S. Cl. 206/5 A, 134/143 [51] Int. Cl. A45c 11/00, B08b ll/OO [58] Field of Search ..134/117,135,137,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,609,828 9 1952 Ward 134 166 R x 2,839,217 6/1958 Trudeau.. 220/32 2,932,383 4 1960 Fagan 206 5 A 3,115,146 12/1963 Erwin 206 5 A x 3,314,533 4/1967 Kopfle 206/5 A x 3,444,868 5/1969 Hungerford et al. 134/143 3,545,458 12 1970 KOrd et al 134 143 x 3,602,238 8/1971 Brown 1 134 117 3,661,248 5 1972 lSell et al. 134 137 x Primary Examiner-Robert L. Bleutge Att0rneyMax Dressler et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A lens holder is disclosed that includes a base having first and second corresponding convex surfaces on opposite sides with a pivot axis on the base adjacent the surfaces. First and second cover members of identical construction cooperate with opposite sides of the base and are pivoted on the pivot axis. The identical cover members each include a concave surface corresponding in configuration to the convex surfaces on the base and a pair of arms on one end of each cover member that define pivot surfaces. The pivot surfaces receive the pivot axis and the arms are positioned so that the first and second cover members have lateral edges aligned with each other, when the arms of the cover members are operatively engaged with the pivot axis. The cover members each include latch means releasably retaining the cover member in a closed position on the base in which the convex and concave surfaces are in juxtaposed relation to each other. The base is removably secured to a cap and the cap is adapted to be removably coupled to a container with the cap, base and cover positioned to locate the base in the container when the cap is coupled to the container. In addition, the cap defines a maximum pivoted position for the cover members when it is secured to the container to prevent separation of the cover members from the base, while the cover members can readily be separated from the base when the base is removed from the cap.

14 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PAT ENTEU NOV 6 i973 SHEET 10F 2 CONTACT LENS HOLDER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to holders for articles having a general shape of a section of a sphere, and more particularly to an improved lens holder for a pair of contact lenses.

Corneal contact lenses constructed of a relatively hard plastic material have been known for years. Recently, corneal contact lenses have been developed that are made of a soft, pliable plastic material. Some of the relatively soft, pliable plastic materials are quite hydrophilic in nature. This means that the user of the lens must be extremely careful to prevent contamination of the lens with materials that can be absorbed by the plastic. It also means that precautions must be taken to kill any bacteria or germs that may be absorbed by the lens during use which may cause inflammation or damage to the cornea of the user.

For these reasons, it is important to sterilize the corneal soft contact lenses daily. Sterilization of soft contact lenses requires that they be placed in a saline solution and the solution heated sufficiently to carry out the sterilization process. I

Normally this is accomplished by enclosing the soft contact lenses in a capsule that is partially filled with a saline solution and then suspending the capsule in boiling water to heat the solution.

Numerous types of containers in which a pair of lenses are supported in a solution for sterilization and storage have been proposed. However, these are either extremely complicated in construction, which require considerable attention of the user, or are unsatisfactory for proper sterilization.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a simple and inexpensive holder for a pair of contact lenses that can readily be suspended within a container for sterilization of the contact lenses, should they be of the soft, pliable plastic material that is hydrophilic in nature. The holder consists of a minimum number of plastic parts, two of which are interchangeable so that a minimum number of dies need be manufactured for producing the entire unit.

The holder is releasably secured in a cap that cooperates with a container to suspend the contact lenses in the container during the sterilization process and also allow the solution to come into contact with both surfaces of the contact lenses.

The contact lens holder of the present invention includes a base having a pair of opposed convex surfaces on opposite sides thereof and a pair of cover members, identical in construction, pivoted about a common axis defined adjacent one end of the convex surfaces. The cover members each have a concave surface that corresponds to the configuration of the convex surfaces on the base and also has a pair of arms extending from one end, which arms define pivot surfaces to receive the pivot axis on the base. The arms are positioned so that the first and second cover members have lateral edges aligned with each other when the members are operatively engaged with the pivot axis.

The cover members include latch means on the opposite ends thereof that hold the cover members in a closed position on the base with the convex and concave surfaces in juxtaposed relation to each other.

Each cover member also has a plurality of slots that extend from the concave surface and terminate in an op posed surface to allow fluid to readily come into contact with one surface of the contact lens supported thereby, while the convex surfaces on the base have slits therein to allow the fluid to contact the opposite surface of the lens.

The base of the lens holder has a reduced extension at one end which is removably secured to a cap that may be coupled to a container to position the base within the container.

According to another aspect of the invention, the pivot surfaces are cylindrical in configuration and cir cumscribe an arc of less than so that the cover members can be removed from the base after being pivoted to an extreme position on the pivot axis. However, when the base is assembled on the cap, the cap defines a maximum pivot position for the respective cover members, which is intermediate the extreme pivoted position and the closed position to insure that the cover members remain on the base at all times.

As was indicated above, each cover member is identical in construction to reduce the inventory required for forming the holders. This is accomplished by having the pivot arms laterally offset or displaced to one side so that the center line between the arms of each pair does not coincide with the center line of the cover. In addition, the latch means consists of a latch arm on the opposite end of the cover with the latch arm also laterally offset from the center line of the cover member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows an exploded prespective view of the lens holder of this invention, for supporting a pair of contact lenses;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view of the base forming part of the holder;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the base shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a section view of the base, taken along line 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of one cover member forming part of the holder;

FIG. 6 is a side elevation of the cover member shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a section of the cover member, taken generally along line 7-7 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the base and pair of cover members in closed condition and assembled to the cap; and

FIG. 9 (appearing with FIG. 1) is a side elevation view of the base, cover member and cap with one of the cover members in an open position and the other cover member shown partly in section.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail one specific embodiment, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated.

FIG. 1 of the drawings shows the elements that comprise the lens holder of the present invention, including generally a base 12 and pair of cover members 14, a cap 16, and a container 18.

The elements making up the lens holder are constructed to allow a pair of soft contact lenses to be supported in a fixed position upon the base and the entire base suspended and sealed within the container so that the container can be utilized for sterilizing a pair of lenses as well as storing them when they are not in use. Each of the elements will be described separately and the relation of the elements will be outlined in connection with assembly and use of the holder.

The base 12 (FIGS. 2-4) consists of a body 20 having convex surfaces 22 on opposite sides located between lateral edges 24. The base has a plurality of slits 26 extending from each of the convex surfaces, for a purpose that will be described later.

The base 12 also has a reduced extension 30 at one end with lateral edges 32 of the extension being spaced inwardly from the lateral edges 24 of the base. Each of the lateral edges of the extension 30 has an integral pin extending outwardly therefrom, with the two pins 34 defining a common pivot axis and terminating at the outer end substantially in alignment with the lateral edges 24 of the main body 20. The pins 34 are positioned on the lateral edges to define gaps 36 between the end surface 37 of the base 20 and the peripheral surface of the pins, for a purpose the will be described later. The opposite end of the base has a pair of cutouts 38 extending inwardly from the outer lateral edges 24 with the end surfaces 40 of the cut outs being substantially V-shaped in crosssection, as in shown in FIG. 3.

The two cover members 14 are identical in construction, which simplifies the production of this device. One cover member shown in detail in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7. Each cover member 14 consists of a main body 50 having opposite ends 52 and 54 and lateral edges 56 and 58. The end 52 of the cover member has a pair of arms 60a and 60b that are spaced from each other so that two opposing cover members may be pivoted on asingle pivot axis with the lateral edges aligned with each other. The two arms, as more clearly shown in FIGS. and 7, have a substantially common lateral dimension with one of the arms being spaced from its associated lateral edge of the main body by a greater distance than the other arm. In the illustrated embodiment, one of the arms 600 has its outer edge laterally aligned with the lateral edge 58, while the other arm 60b has its outer edge spaced inwardly from the lateral edge 56 a distance that is at least equal to the lateral dimension of each of the arms.

The arms positioned as shown, the center line between the pair of arms does not coincide with the center line of the cover member so that two cover members may be pivoted with a common pivot axis as shown in FIG. 8, with the lateral edges of the two cover members aligned with each other.

Each arm 60a and 60b has a pivot surface defined thereon which is placed in operative engagement with one of the pins 34 when the cover is assembled on the base. The pivot surfaces each have an arcuate portion 62 circumscribing an arc of substantially less than 180 with a flattened portion 64 on the end thereof, for a purpose that will be described later.

The-opposite end 54 of the main body has a latch arm 66 integral therewith that extends downwardly and has an inwardly directed substantially V-shaped groove 68 that corresponds in configuration to the V-shaped surface 40 defined on the base. The arm 66 is also laterally ofiset from the center line of the cover so that the latch arms of the respective cover members are laterally spaced from each other when the cover members are positioned on opposite sides of the base. The outer end of the arm has an inclined camming surface 69 to guide the cooperating latch surfaces 40, 68 on the base and the latch arm into engagement with each other.

The main body 50 of the cover member has the general form of a section of a sphere between its lateral edges and opposite ends to produce an inner concave surface 70 and an outer convex surface 72 both of which correspond substantially in configuration to the configuration of the convex surfaces 22 on the base. A plurality of circumferentially spaced slots 74 extend between the surfaces of the cover to allow fluid to pass through the main body of the cover member.

If desired, the cover members may have suitable indicia so that a user may identify the appropriate lens for each eye. One type of indicia that could be used is to have the center portion of the cover member flattened with a heart embossed on the flattened portion of the cover member. Since the heart is located on the left side of the body, the user would identify the lens enclosed by this cover member for the left eye.

Referring to FIG. 1, it will beseen that the cap 16 has an integral extension that defines a slot 82 which corresponds to the cross-sectional configuration of the extension 30 on the base 12 so that the base can be removably secured to the cap. The cap also has a threaded internal surface 84 that may be threaded onto the external threaded surface 86 on the upper open end of the container 18 so that the cap may be removably coupled to the container.

In assembling the holder, it is necessary to initially place the cover members on the base before the base is attached to the cap 16. This is accomplished by positioning the two cover members 14 substantially in the position shown in FIG. 1 where the flat portions 64 of the pivot surfaces on the arms 60a and 60b are substan tially aligned with the end surface 37 on the body 20 of the base. From an inspection of the pivot surface in FIGS. 6, it will be seen that the cover member must be located so that the main body of the cover member defines an angle greater than 90 with respect to the main body 20 of the base. In this position, the free end of each arm 60a and 60b is capable of being inserted into the gap 36 defined between the periphery of each pin 34 and the adjacent end surface 37 of the base body.

One arm of each pair of arms of the respective cover members is received into the gap 36 defined between the pin 34 and the end surface 37. By properly dimensioning the arms and laterally offsetting the arms 60a and 60b relative to the center line of the cover, the cross-sectional dimension of the two arms received in an associated gap 36 will substantially completely fill the gap between the lateral edge 32 of the extension and the lateral edge 24 on the base, as well as the space between the end surface 37 and the pins 39. This dimensioning and positioning of the arms relative to the end of the cover members will maintain the lateral edges of the cover members aligned with each other and with the lateral edges of the base, as is more clearly shown in FIG. 8.

Both cover members may then be moved to a closed position (see the left hand cover member in FIG. 9), so

that each V-shaped groove 68 receives and associates V-shaped surface 40 to securely hold the cover members in a closed position, wherein the convex and concave surfaces on the base and the cover members, respectively, are in juxtaposed relation to each other. It will be seen from an inspection of F IG. 8 that one latch arm 66 is received in one of the cut-outs 38, while the opposite latch arm 66 is received in the opposite cutout 38.

Another feature of the present invention is that the cover members cannot be removed from the base while the base is secured to the cap. This feature is more clearly shown in FIG. 9, wherein one of the cover members is shown in its fully opened position when the extension 30 is located in the slot defined by the extension 80 in the cap 16. In the fully opened position, shown by the right hand cover member 14, the main body 50 of the cover defines an angle less than 90 with respect to the main body of the base. In this position, which is termed the maximum pivoted position for the cover members on the base, the flat portions 64 of the pivot surfaces are angularly related relative to the end surface 37 on the base and terminate close to the centers of the pins so that the arms 60 cannot be removed from the gaps 36. This maximum pivoted position for the cover members is located between the extreme pivotable position for the cover members, which allows the cover members to be separated from the base, and the closed position for the cover members so that there is no way that the cover members can be separated from the base without removing the base from the cap.

After the cover members, base and cap have been interconnected as shown in FIG. 9, a pair of contact lenses C may be positioned on the convex surfaces 22 of the base. The cover members or means carried by the base may then be pivoted to the closed position, wherein the cooperating latch surfaces 40 and 68 are in engagement with each other to latch the cover members in a closed position on the base. It will be noted that in the closed position substantially all of the inner and outer surfaces of each contact lens are exposed through the slits 26 and slots 74. g

The container 18 may then be filled with a saline solution in sufficient quantity to immerse the contact lenses. The cap 16 can then be screwed onto the container to completely enclose the container, while the contact lenses are suspended within the container.

The solution may then be heated by immersing the container in boiling water for the sterilizing process, and after sterilization the lenses may remain in the container until they are to be used again.

The entire unit, having a minimum number of parts, can readily be manufactured from a plastic material at a minimum cost and results in an extremely useful, well constructed device.

What is claimed is:

l. A lens holder comprising a base having first and second corresponding convex surfaces on opposite sides; means defining a pivot axis on said base adjacent said surfaces; first and second cover members of identical construction respectively cooperating with said opposite sides of said base, each of said cover members having a concave surface corresponding substantially to the configuration of said convex surfaces; a pair of arms at one end of each cover member defining pivot surfaces to receive said pivot axis in operative engagement therewith, said arms being positioned sothat said first and second cover members have lateral edges aligned with each other when said members are operatively engaged with said pivot axis; and latch means releasably retaining said cover members in a closed position on said base with the convex and concave surfaces in juxtaposed relation to each other.

2. A lens holder as defined in claim 1, in which said base has an extension at one end, further including a container and a cap adapted to be removably coupled with said container, said cap having means for receiving said extension to secure said base to said cap, said means for receiving said extension being positioned to locate said base in said container when said cap is coupled to said container.

3. A lens holder as defined in claim 2, in which said cover members are pivotable to an extreme position to separate said cover members from said base and in which said cap defines a maximum pivoted position for said cover members, said maximum pivoted position being located between said extreme position and said closed position to prevent said cover members from being separated from said base when said base is secured to said cap.

4. A lens holder as defined in claim 2, in which said base and cap, when in assembled condition, are removably secured to each other.

5. A lens holder as defined in claim 2, in which each of said pair of arms at one end of each cover is displaced to one side so that the center line between the arms of the pair does not coincide with the center line of the cover and in which said cover members are pivotably to an extreme position to separate said cover members from said base, said cap defining a maximum pivoted position for said cover members, said maximum pivoted position being located between said extreme position and said closed position to prevent said cover members from being separated from said base when said base is secured to said cap.

6. A lens holder as defined in claim 1, in which each of said pair of arms at one end of each cover is displaced to one side so that the center line of the arms of each pair does not coincide with the center line of the cover.

7. A lens holder as defined in claim 1, in which said base has slits extending from the respective convex surfaces. v

8. A lens holder as defined in claim 7, in which each cover member has slots extending from its concave surface.

9. A lens holder as defined in claim 1, in which said base has lateral edges aligned with the lateral edges of said cover members, further including an extension at one end of said base, said extension having lateral edges spaced inwardly from the lateral edges of said base, the lateral edges of said extensions having integral pins extending outwardly to define said pivot axis.

10. A lens holder as defined in claim 9, in which said pins are positioned to define gaps between said base the theperiphery of said pins and in which one arm of each pair of arms is located in a respective gap, said arms substantially filling said gaps between the lateral edges of said base and said extension.

1 1. A lens holder as defined in claim 10, in which said latch means includes a latch arm on the opposite end of each cover member, said latch arms being laterally offset from the center line of said cover members between said lateral edges, said latch arms and the opposite end of said base having cooperating latch surfaces to releasably retain said cover members in a closed position on said base.

12. A lens holder as defined in claim 1 l, in which said base has slits extending from the respective convex surfaces and each cover member has slots extending from its concave surface to an opposed surface.

13. A lens holder as defined in claim 10, in which said pivot surfaces have cylindrical portions circumscribing an arc of less than 180 so that said cover members are pivotable to an extreme position to separate said cover members from said base.

14. A lens holder comprising a base having first and second corresponding convex surfaces on opposite sides, means defining a pivot axis on said base adjacent said surfaces, first and second cover members of identical construction respectively cooperating with said opposite sides of said base, each of said cover members having a concave surface corresponding substantially to the configuration of said convex surfaces, means at one end of each cover member defining pivot surfaces to receive said pivot axis in operative engagement therewith, said means being positioned so that said first and second cover members have lateral edges aligned with each other when said members are operatively engaged with said pivot axis; and latch means releasably retaining said cover members in a closed position on said base with the convex and concave surfaces in juxtaposed relation to each other.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,770,113 Dated November 6, 1973 Inventor(5) Michael D. Thomas It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the Abstract, delete the underscoring.

Column 2, line 23, change "inventory" to -tooling--.

Column 2, line 35, "prespective" should be -perspective-.

Column 3, line 27, change "the" to --that- (second occurrence) Column 3, line 31, change "in" to --is-- (second occurrence).

Column 3, line 52, "The arms" should be --With the arms.

Column 3, line 61, after "arcuate" add -or cylindrical-.

Column 5, line 1, change "and associates" to --an associated--.

Column 6, lines 31 and 32, "pivotably" should be pivotable- Column 6, line 58, delete "the".

Column 8, after line 14, insert the following claims:

15. A lens holder for supporting a pair of contact lenses comprising a base having a pair of integral convex surfaces defined on opposite sides thereof for supporting a pair of contact lenses thereon; a cover member for each of said pair of convex surfaces, each cover member corresponding substantially in configuration to the .convex surfaces on said base; and means releasably retaining said cover members on said base so that the contact lenses are supported between said surfaces.

16. A lens holder as defined in claim 15, in which said base has slits extending from the respective convex surfaces and each cover member has slots extending from its concave surface to an opposed surface.

On the cover sheet, "114. Claims" should read 16 Claims Signed and sealed this 25th day of June 197k.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. c. MARSHALL DANN Attestins; Officer Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-1050 (10-69) USCOMM-DC 00376-P69 I u.$. GOVERNMENI PRINTING OFFICE: I969 O--J66-JJI

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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/5, 206/5.1, 134/143, 134/901
International ClassificationA45C11/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S134/901, A45C11/005
European ClassificationA45C11/00L