US 3818911 A
Applicators for liquid or semi-solid compositions capable of single or multiple use characterized by a unitary handle and elongated stationary or rotatable support for an applicator swab. A cover which protects the swab and can be removed and united with a unitary handle to form an extended handle which may be included as part of the applicator unit.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Fournier [111 3,818,911 June 25, 1974 1 MEDICAMENT AND SWAB TYPE APPLICATORS  Inventor: Erick-Pierre Fournier, 30 Park Ave., New York, NY. 10016 22 Filed: Mayll, 1972 21 Appl.No.:252,475
 US. Cl 128/269, 128/260, 128/270, 7
 Int. Cl..... A6lm 35/00  Field Of Search 128/269, 260, 261, 263, 128/270; 401/198, 243
 References Cited 1 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,170,222 8/1939 Strauss 128/269 2,218,738 10/1940 Boysen 7/1964 Tallman et a1 128/263 3,228,398 1/1966 Leonard et a1. 128/269 3,394,702 7/1968 Hemlich et a1. 128/269 3,443,562 5/1969 Gustafson 128/269 3,457,014 7/1969 Ward 401/41 3,661,666 5/1972 Foster et al 401/198 X Primary Examiner-Aldrich F. Medbery Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Morgan, Finnegan, Durham & Pine 5 7 ABSTRACT Applicators for liquid or semi-solid compositions capable of single or multiple use characterized by a unitary handle and elongated stationary or rotatable support for an applicator swab. A cover which protects the swab and can be removed and united with a unitary handle to form an extended handle which may be included as part of the applicator unit.
9 Claims, 46 Drawing Figures FIGI.
PATENTED JUNZS I974 SHEET 1 0F 7 PIC-3.2.
PATENTED JUN25 I974 sum 2 or 7 m m u n n n a u PATENTEDJUNZSW 3.818.911
SHEET 3 [1F 7 F'IGJI.
PAIENIED-MIZ H 3.818.911
sum 8 or 7 F'IG.33.
PAIENTEU 3,818,591 1 sum 7 or 7 FIG.45.
MEDICAMENT AND SWAB TYPE APPLICATORS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to muIti-purpose applicators for use in the application of liquid or semi-solid compositions. The invention has particular application to low cost, mass produced one-use disposable devices in which premeasured liquid medicaments, chemicals, etc. for many uses are carried by the applicator within a sealed, leakproof enclosing means.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART A number of applicators for several purposes particularly the dispensing of medicaments, have been known or used for some time. One such applicator is a vaginal instrument comprised of a relatively hard-surfaced, elongated cylindrical rod to which is affixed sponge rubber finger-like projections. It is intended primarily as a nozzle for a douche syringe, although it may be used as an applicator and does not have any capping means. This applicator is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,127,094. Another patented arrangement, described in US. Pat. No. 3,228,398 embodies a smooth-surfaced polyurethane foam layer affixed to an elongated rigid support member.
Devices such as the foregoing, however, are generally restricted to specific purposes, primarily medical and have no provision for preventing the unwanted evaporation or other loss ofliquids andthe like impregnated in or carried by the swab. Furthermore, the absence of any protective closure means for the swab is a hygienic drawback.
Known applicators are characterized by their lack of compactness and thus, are bulky. The marketability of these products may be impeded because of the difficulty in containing or packaging such applicators in an attractive manner. This is a particularly severe disadvantage in the distribution of low cost medicinal applicators and the like. Coupled with those shortcomings is the inability to dispense premeasured liquids or semi solid quantities' It is accordingly one object of this invention to providean applicator for applying refreshing, cleansing or medicated compositions to internal or external body surfaces.
Another object of this invention is to provide an applicator having both domestic and commercial applications and which is also readily adaptable to compact and attractive formulation and design.
It is a primary and further object of this invention to provide a novel applicator for liquid and semi-solid compositions which is adaptable to mass production as both a reusable device and as a single use, fully disposable combined carrier andapplication device.
A further object of this invention to provide an appli' cator capable of storing a premeasured'amount of a liquid or semi-solid composition.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In a preferred embodiment, the applicator comprises one member making up a grippable support portion and at least one elongated support portion to which a layer of absorbent or resilient material is affixed. When the applicator is produced from resinous materials such as polystyrene, it may be convenientto injection mold a grippable support member and an elongated support member in one piece. As an alternative, the grip may be detachable for reuse. The swab is preferably made from a cured polymeric foam material, which is a resilient cellular porous substance formed from a natural or synthetic polymer that is capable of holding a quantityof liquid or semi-solid material in its cellular spaces. Foam rubber, polyether or polyester urethane foams and the like are some examples. For purposes of illustration, an applicator swab formed of cured polymeric foam material will be described in connection with the several embodiments of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a complete understanding of the invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description of several preferred embodiments, and to the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top view of a vaginal applicator base of the invention which shows a grippable support member with an elongated support member;
FIG. 2 is a side view of FIG. I;
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of FIG. ll;
' FIG. 4 is a side elevation view in partial cross-section of the applicator of FIG. I provided with a protective cap and compressed cured polymeric foam layer;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 with the cap removed and the cured polymeric foam layer expanded;
FIG. 6 is a side elevation in partial cross-section of an alternate embodiment of the invention, wherein the foam layer has a different shape;
FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of another embodiment according to the invention useful as a vaginal applicator;
FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of the FIG. 7 device with a threaded 'cap joined to the base;
FIG. 9 is a partial cross-sectional view of the FIG. 8 applicator showing a compressed polymeric foam layer;
FIG. 10 is a side elevation view of the applicator of FIG. 9 with the cap removed and fitted to the base as a handle extension;
FIG. 11 is a side elevation view of another embodiment of avaginal applicator base according to the invention;
FIG. 12 is a side elevation view of the applicator base of FIG. 11 showing the cap in place;
FIG. 13 is a side elevation view of the base of FIG. 12 showing the detachedgrippable base member and a compressed, cured polymeric foam layer in crosssection;
FIG. 14 is a side elevation view of the applicator shown in FIG. 13 with the cap removed;
' FIG; 15 is a side elevation view of the applicator of FIG. 14 with the cap affixed to the base as an extension of the gripping surface;
FIG. 16 is a front elevation view of a capped oral hygiene device according to the invention;
FIG. 17 is a side elevation view in cross-section of the capped oral hygiene device of FIG. 16;
3 FIG. 18 is a side cross-sectional view of the FIG. 17
FIG. 19 is a front cross-sectional view taken along the I line 1919 of FIG. 18;
FIG. 20 is a side elevational view of the FIGS. 16-19 showing the cap removed and affixed to the base as a handle extension;
FIG. 21 is a front elevational view of the assembly of FIG. 20;
FIG. 22 is a side elevational view of another embodiment having two coaxial support members which extend in opposite directions;
FIG. 23 is a cross-section view of the FIG. 22 embodiment;
FIG. 24 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 22 and FIG. 23 which shows the cap removed from one end;
FIG. 25 is a side elevation view of another embodiment which includes a double surfaced applicator with a cap;
FIG. 26 is a bottom view of the FIG. 25 device;
FIG. 27 is a side elevation-view of the applicator of FIG. 25 with the cap removed and fitted t the base as an extension handle;
FIG. 28. is a side elevation view in partial crosssection of the FIG. 27 device;
FIG. 29 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 29-29 in FIG. 28;
FIGS. 30 and 31 are front elevation and plan views of the FIG. 27 device.
FIGS. 3236 are side elevational and end views of another embodiment having a cap over-fitting the swab and removable for attachment as a handle extension;
FIGS. 37-38 are side elevation and end crosssectional views of another embodiment of the invention wherein a plurality of cured polymeric foam layers are affixed to a rotatable support member;
FIGS. 39 and 40 are side elevational and end views of a further applicator according to the invention but having a I non-detachable handle which is laterally spaced and generally parallel to theelongated support member;
FIGS. 41 and 42 are side elevation and end views of another applicator of the invention having a nondetachable handle;
FIG. 43 is a partial cross-section side elevation view of the applicator of FIG. 41.
FIG. 44 is a cross-sectional view along the line 44-44 in FIG. 43;
FIG. 45 is a broken away side view of the cap 16 of FIG. 43;
FIG. 46 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 46-46 in FIG. 45;
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Although the invention has many uses and advantages, it is helpful to describe the various embodiments in terms of representative uses. One such embodiment is adapted for use in feminine hygiene and is typical of other embodiments in the relationship of its components and its inherent advantages and utility. Liquid and semi-solid compositions may be applied with this applicator for cleansing, medicinal or contraceptive purposes.
In the healthy female organism, normal vaginal secretions originating from the various gland centers such as Skenes and Bartholins consist of a serous, mucoid ex udate whose flow is related to normal physical and psychic stimulation. In addition to these normal secretions, desquamating epithelial cells from the vaginal Walls and residues from menstrual flow constitute other debris which if not regularly flushed out may cause discomfort due to odor and irritation. Also, pathogenic bacterial growth may occur in spite of the inhibiting effect of the natural acidic milieu of the vaginal tract.
The conventional methods of vaginal hygiene may be grouped into two categories. The first category relates to externally applied deodorants which may be applied as liquid or powder sprays with or without an aerosol applicator means and the use of pre-moistened non woven cloths. The second category relates to douching with medicated or non-medicated solutions.
The methods are not without varying forms and degrees of shortcomings. While vaginal deodorants are generally held by gynecologists to be largely ineffective as they are strictly limited to external action, sprays have recently come under severe criticism for the skin irritation which is caused by germicides such as hexachlorophene or the propellent gases. Douching remains as the most effective cleansing method in use, eventhough it is regarded by most women as a cumbersome enterprise while physicians consider it inadequate in I combating abnormal vaginal conditions such as moniliasis, trichomoniasis and non-specific bacterial vaginitis.
A third method of vaginal cleansing has been based on the use of scrubbing devices which were used to dislodge from the vaginal walls whatever debris was not eliminated by gravity alone. Some of these devices are shown in US. Pat. Nos. 2,127,094 and 3,228,398, which have been noted above.
Known vaginal scrubbing devices such as these are bulky and are not either compact, easy to carry or adaptable for pre-impregnation with a cleanser or medicament.
In contrast, a. vaginal applicator according to the invention can be fashioned to a dimension not more than 2 to 3 /2 inches in length making it inconspicuous, readily concealable and easily disposable. Structurally, it includes (1) a grippable base support member (2) a elongated support member (which may be formed as a single piece with the base) and (3) a continuous layer of cured polymeric foam material which has a deformed (resiliently stressed) configuration. An especially preferred embodiment incorporates a shaped continuous layer of cured polymeric foam forming a swab shaped with convoluted annular rings. A protective cap slips over the swab for packaging or storage and forms an extension of the base when it is slipped off the swab and affixed to the base. The base in this embodiment is formed to engage the cap by friction or by a threaded fitting.
The base member may be so constructed that it can be detached and reused as a holder for fully disposable applicator tips (separately supplied) which comprise the cured polymeric foam layer and its supporting structure. For this type of use, the base may be structured with a tapered. friction fitting surface, a press fit snap ring or a threaded means of attachment.
For the dual purpose of reducing the packaged dimensions of the device and of providing more comfortable handling, the end portion of the base may be bent to an angle of l0 to 15.In this case, it is especially advantageous to use the protective cap as an extension of the base, and thereby an extension of the gripping surface.
The vaginal applicator may be supplied preimpregnatecl with various therapeutic; and non-therapeutic compositions. Optionally non-impregnated applicators may be made available as travel kits with a supply of conventional liquid or semi-solid compositions. In this embodiment, the required amount of the particular thera peutic or non-therapeutic agent can be adsorbed into the foam layer swab immediately prior to administration.
The single use disposable embodiment is especially advantageous for the treatment of infectious conditions, as it eliminates the applicator as a source of superinfection and reinfection during the period of treatment. 1 1
Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 145 show var ious views of various embodiments of the invention relating to applicators useful in feminine hygiene. For
In FIGS. 1 and 2, the basic component is shown to include a grippable support member and a substantially narrower shaft 12 extending upwardly from the base. A base stand 11 is formed by the tapered upper surface of the base 10. Longitudinally oriented ridges 14 provide an irregular surface permitting more secure gripping by the user. The upper portion of the base forms a platform 19 which is surmounted by a stand 11 whose circumferential edge is tapered axially such that at the junction with the platform 19 a flat narrow rim 21 is formed. The relief of longitudinal ridges 14 is best seen in FIG. 3.
FIG. 4 shows a capped applicator with a compressed irregularly shaped cured polymeric foam material 17 affixed to the axially oriented elongated support member 12 of FIGS. l-3. The shaped cured polymeric foam is provided with annular convoluted folds 18 which extend downwardly to increase the surface area and to provide a gentle scrubbing action. against the vaginal walls. The cap 16 is shaped as a relatively narrow cylinder so that it compresses the annular convoluted folds when it is in place on stand 11. On the cap 16 there are provided longitudinal ridges l5 to provide a slip-free gripping surface. In this view the downward tapered configuration of the edge 20 of stand 11 is clearly observable and is shown to engage and form a tight friction seal with the cap 16. FIG. 5 shows the applicator of FIG. 4with the cap removed. It is preferred to leave a small space 22 at the lower end of the elongated support member so that the cured polymeric foam layer 17 may be compressed axially as well as radially to fit within the cap.
FIG. 6 shows a vaginal applicator in which the cured polymeric foam layer 17 has been formed into outwardly extending annular ridges 24. This illustrates another typical configuration in which the cured polymeric foam layer may be formed. FIG. 7 is an embodiment of a vaginal applicator wherein the grippable base support member 10 is bent at an angle and provided with a bottom platform 31 which is equal in radial dimension to platform 11 so that a cap 16 which is fitted to the platform 11 may be used as a handle or handle extension when it is pressed onto the bottom part of support member 31. Both the platform 11 and the bottom platform 31 are provided with screw threads 32 and 33 of equal pitch so that a threaded cap may be employed which will fit tightly against rims 21 and 30. FIG. 8 is a view of the base of FIG. 7 with the threaded cap joined to the upper portion. The cap 16- may be provided with longitudinally oriented ridges 15 to provide for easier gripping by the user.
FIG. 9 shows the caps lfi-cut away to reveal a section of the cured polymeric foam layer 17. FIG. 10 illustrates the FIG. 9 device with the cap removed to allow the cured polymeric foam layer 17 to expand to its nor mal position. The cap 16 is depicted joined to the base support member 10 to provide a longer gripping surface which facilitates the deep insertion of the. applicator tip into the cervical region of the vagina.
FIGS. 11-15 show another embodiment of a vaginal applicator wherein the angled grippable base support member 10 is detachably affixed to an axially oriented elongated support shaft 12. As seen from FIG. 11, the shaft 12 extends from an annular grip 41 to provide a holding surface when detachable grippable base support member 10 is removed. Annular rings 43 are provided to form a slip-free gripping surface. Annular recesses 40 and 42 are provided to receive a complementary annular ring 41A inside of the slightly resilient cap for the purpose of holding it firmly in place.
In FIG. 13, the cured polymeric foam layer 17in a compressed state can be seen. The base 10 is removably attachable to the annular grip by the screw threads 44 which engage a threaded socket 45 in the grip 41. FIG. 14 shows polymeric foam layer 17 expanded to its uncompressed volume. A small space 22 at the lower portion of the axially oriented elongated support member allows for axial compression of the cured polymeric foam layer so that it will fit into the cap.
FIG. 15 illustrates the assembly with the cap 16 affixed to the detachable grippable base support member 10 as an extension of the gripping surface.
When the applicator of the invention is to be employed in dental hygiene for cleansing or oral massaging pruposes, it is preferred to use a structure of the type illustrated in FIGS.,1621. v
The cured polymeric foam surface may be impregnated with a suitable liquid or cream tooth surface cleaner and then capped with a sealed protective cap. The irregular surface of this embodiment is preferably a grid-like pattern of regularly spaced divided sections to provide a scrubbing action when passed over the teeth. The foam surface layer does not provide an optimum type of cleaning action as it does not have a brush-like surface which is capable of dislodging all food particles from the crevices and spaces between the teeth. However, it is primarily intended as a single use disposable means of substantially cleaning the teeth when traveling or when one is not able to use a conventional toothbrush with a tube of dental cream.
FIG. 16 shows a capped oral hygiene device. The grippable base support member 10 is adapted to engage cap 16 as an extension handle when it is removed for use. The surface area which will engage the cap is the distal base area 31 of the grippable support member 10. FIG. 17 reveals the angular configuration of the grippable base member 10.
As best viewed in FIG. 18, the elongated support member 12 is shown with a tapered base section 51 which allows the use of a layer of cured polymeric foam 17 on one surface of the distal portion of the elongated support member and is adaptable to be enclosed with a straight sided cap 16. The tapered edges of the stand 11 and the flat narrow rim 21 of the platform 19 are clearly shown in FIG. 19. FIGS. 20 and 21 show that the cured polymeric foam layer 17 has an irregularly shaped surface 52 made up by a plurality of small tubularly shaped, closely adjacent sections which form a cleansing grid and which is permanently deformed to provide an abrasive or scrubbing action when it is passed over the teeth surfaces. To protect against injury to the gums, the cured polymeric foam layer 17 may be formed so that it covers substantially all of the distal portion of the tapered support 51 with at least some cured polymeric foam material.
The applicator embodiment which is adapted for use as an implement in cleaning or medicating the ear or for other diverse purposes, is shown in FIGS. 2224.
This applicator may be employed dry in the same manner as conventional cotton tipped swabs are employed in cleaning the various parts of the external ear. It may also be premoistened with aqueous or nonaqueous cleansing solution to aid with cleaning of the ear or of the perianal region of infants. It may also be impregnated with a medicated liquid, e.g., an antibiotic solution, for use in treating otitis extema. For such applications, the liquid may be placed in the auditory canal by inserting the pre-impregnated applicator and pressing the applicator against the sidewalls of the canal.
Referring to FIG. 22, the applicator has two coaxial elongated support members 12 which extend in opposite directions from the base supportmember for use in otic hygiene or in applying otic medication. These applications may also be employed in other body orifices, such as the nose, as applicators for medicinal compositions or, in the case of new-born infants, as cleansing aids. Caps 16 engage the grippable base support member 10 at each end.
The elongated support members 12 have bulbous tips 13 (FIGS. 2324) which function as protective aids to prevent mechanical injury of body tissues. The cured polymeric foam layers 17A and 17B have different shapes permitting the use of: the same applicator in all parts of the ear, which may vary greatly in size and configuration. The cured polymeric foam layer 17A for example is adapted for cleansing the open lobe areas of the ear. The opposite tip 178, shaped as a smooth and narrow cylinder, is designed to reach into the farthest recesses of the auditory meatus.
Another embodiment of the invention comprises a double surface applicator. A particularly preferred structure for this embodiment is shown in FIGS. 25-31. This type of applicator may be employed for the application of two different compositions or may be used as a combination applicator-polisher. When one surface is to be used as a polisher or buffer, it may be preferred I of the different compositions. This type of applicator may be used for nail polish removal wherein one side would be impregnated with a nail polish solvent such as acetone and the other side would be substantially in a dry condition for polishing the nails and removing particles of softened and dissolved nail polish. It could also be employed as a cleaner for magnetic tape and records wherein one side would dispense an anti-static agent while the other would mop off dust particles. This embodiment could also be supplied with a detachable handle which could be used in combination with disposable refill applicators which would comprise the upper part of the applicator including the elongated support and the cured polymeric foam layers.
Another embodiment of the double surface applicator comprises removable foam layers which can be detached and reimpregnated with any desired liquid or semi-solid composition. This type of applicator can also be refilled with new cured polymeric foam layers.
FIG. 25 shows the package configuration for a double surfaced applicator enclosed with a removable cap 16. As in the other embodiments, the cap is attachable to the lower part of the support to form a handle extension 16A (FIG. 27). The base 10 also is provided with grooves which are adapted to engage with mating A projections 62 of the cap 16, best seen in FIG. 29.
The shaft or rod 12 is preferably rectangular in this embodiment and carries opposite layers 54 and 56 of cured polymeric foam. The rectangular shaft distributes handle pressure over the respective layers. The shaft 12 has a peripheral ridge 58 which cooperates with the cap to form a seal separating the two layers of cured polymeric foam. This feature is most apparent in FIG. 29. There, the projections 62 form between them a recess which mates to the ridge 58. These same projections slip into the grooves 55 in the base 10 when joining thecap to the base to form a grip extension.
The invention also embraces devices wherein an elongated member supports at least one distinct layer of cured polymeric foam for rotation to different positions. A number of preferred embodiments are shown in FIGS. 32-43.
Applicators of this type may be provided with distinct layers of cured polymeric foam carried on the support member such that each layer is separated by a portion of the support member and is sealed in a separate compartment by means of the cap. The cap in this case, engages elevated ridges of the elongated supporting member in mating grooves to prevent any intermixing of the compositions with which the cured polymeric foam layers may be pre-impregnated. The cap also is adapted to form a grippable extension handle with the base. It is preferred to provide some means for attaching the handle in a position above the applicator surface, as shown in FIG. 36. In the alternative, it may be advantageous to employ a permanent handle fashioned as an integral part of the base member. This is shown by way of example in FIG. 41.
The rotatable elongated support may be affixed to the base in any fashion that permits rotary movement. In one preferred embodiment the base forms a cylindrical cavity which serves as a rotational bearing surface, supporting the cylindrically shaped end of the elongated support member. The cylindrical cavity of the base is grooved to accept a circular pressure ring on the cylindrical end of the elongated support member. A pin may be used as a means of securing the base and elongated support member together.
In the preferred arrangement, the end of the elongated support member opposite the rotating joint has an index wheel or the like which can be grasped'and turned to rotate the desired resilient layer into position for use. This embodiment may be advantageously employed, for example, as a shoe shine kit wherein one layer surface could be provided with a polish impregnated brush, another with a polishing surface and one more with a buffing surface. The brush type surface may be prepared by injection molding techniques to form plastic bristles, or specially shaped cured polymeric foam layers may be substituted.
In the shoe polish type applicator, a refillable type elongated support member can be used. Refills may comprise for example, a flexible slip-on structure retaining the curedpolymeric foam layers.
FIGS. 32-46 show in detail the various embodiments of the invention described above. All of these have a grip extending laterally from the base support member 7 in a substantially parallel relation to the elongated support or shaft.
FIG. 32 illustrates a U-shaped base support member l0 having a cap-receiving tapered extension 31 and a cap-engaging tapered extension. 1 la from which extends the generally parallel elongated support member 12 fitted with a cap 16. The cap has gripping ridges 14.
The base support member 12 provides a generally flat support surface 65 for the foam layer 17 that is curved from the extension 11a into a generally flat shape.
FIG. 35 illustrates how the layer 17 is secured to the support member 12 by a dovetail extension 66 and groove 67 receiving the length of the layer and support respectively. An adhesive is used to hold these two elements permanently in place.
.' FIG. 36 indicates the configuration of the applicator cap 16 removed from its protective position over the layer 17 and joined to the upper extension 31 to form a parallel handle. The other features of this embodiment are similar to those described above insofar as the points of retention for the cap, the cured-polymeric foam layer and the elongated base support member.
FIGS. 37 and 38 illustrate a modified embodiment of the device shown in FIGS. 32-36. Here the elongated supportmember 12 is supported for rotation about its axis 68. The rotating joint is identical to that of the embodiment of FIG. 43, which may be referred to as showing the components in partial cross-section. In the lower extension of the base 10, is formed a cylindrical cavity 71 for receiving, providing a bearing surface for the cylindrical extension 72 of the rotatable support 12. This extension includes an annular pressure ring 74 and is slotted as indicated at 75 so that the extension 72 is radially compressible. When the unit is assembled, the cylindrical extension, which is over-dimensional, is radially stressed so that the pressure ring 74 snaps into a complementary annular recess 76 in the cavity 71.
The extension 11a of the base 10 also includes a retention point 78 which stabilizes and guides rotation of the support member 12. These retention points 78 are. received in the cavities 80 formed in the end section 79 of the member 12.
As seen in FIG. 38, the elongated support member has a web 81 forming three hollows 82 for accepting three distinct layers of cured polymeric foam material. An index wheel 61 at the far end of the web 81 provides a digitally graspable turning means. The longitudinal edges of the web 81 extend beyond the layers of cured polymeric foam 17 to form ridges 58 which are adapted to fit within mating grooves 62 of the cap 16 (see FIGS. 45 and 16) and form a seal preventing intermixing of various liquid or semi-solid compositions in the cured polymeric foam layers. 1
FIGS. 39 and 4t) correspond to FIGS. 32 and 33, the essential difference being that the cap 16 is not to be used as a handle extension in view of the permanently affixed elongated base handle 84..
FIGS. 414A- correspond to FIGS. 37, and 38, except that this embodiment has a permanently affixed elongated base handle 84.
Although the invention has been described with reference to the foregoing preferred embodiments, many modifications and variations may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included within reach of the appended claims.
' 1. A vaginal applicator which comprises a base support member, an elongated rod-like member which extends outwardly from said base, said elongated rod-like memberhaving disposed thereon a cured polymeric foam material which covers substantially all of the distal portion of said elongated rod-like member and which extends outwardly from said base, said material being shaped to form at least two annular inverted cup-.
like convolutions that have a central portion that extends from the interior thereof to the exterior of the next succeeding cup-like convolution, said cup-like convolutions being resiliently compressible in a radial and longitudinal direction with respect to the axis of said elongated rod-like member anda cap covering said inverted cup-like convolutions and selectively removably engaging the base support member to provide a gripping means.
2. A vaginal applicator as defined in claim 1 wherein the base has a tapered surface forming a substantially air-tight seal with an inside surface of said cap.
3. A vaginal applicator as defined in claim l wherein one of said base and said cap forms a peripheral ridge and the other forms a complementary recess for accepting the ridge.
4. A vaginal applicator as defined in claim 1 wherein the elongated rod-like member is oriented to have its axis generally parallel to the axis of the grippable base.
5. A vaginal applicator as defined in claim 1 wherein said elongated rod-like member is circular.
6. A vaginal applicator as defined in claim 1 wherein the cured polymeric foam material is a polyester or polyether urethane foam.
7. A vaginal applicator as defined in claim 1 wherein the cured polymeric foam material is impregnated with a liquid or semi-solid composition.
8. An applicator as defined in claim 1 wherein said base support member is detachably affixed to said elongated member.
9. An applicator as defined in claim 1 wherein said base support member is angulated.
* l =ll l=