US 3841533 A
A device for dispensing fluids into a predetermined location, such as the eye, including a nozzle and a shield in which the nozzle head has at least one rib and the shield has a complementary groove, or grooves which mate with the rib, or ribs to respectively place the shield on the nozzle with the proper orientation so that the fluid can be dispensed into the eye as the shield covers it and to cover the nozzle orifice by a closed portion of the shield when the device is to be stored or transported.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ite States Patent (Iarroll et al.
[451 Oct. 15,1974
SPRAY DISPENSER AND SHIELD Inventors: Albert Carroll, Hartsdale, N.Y.;
Glen L. Beall, Gurnee, Ill.
Assignee: Schmid'Laboratories, lnc., Little Falls, NJ.
Filed: Nov. 24, 1972 Appl. No.: 309,232
U.S. Cl ZZZ/402.13, 128/173, 239/288.5, 222/567 llnt. Cl 865d 83/14 Field of Search 222/567, 547, 402.13; 239/2883, 288.5; 128/173 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1961 Coplan 239/2885 l2/l96l Meshberg 222/402.l3 X
Helms 239/2885 Carroll 128/173 R Primary Examiner-Allen N. Knowles Assistant Examiner-Norman L. Stack, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Darby & Darby [5 7 ABSTRACT A device for dispensing fluids into a predetermined location, such as the eye, including a nozzle and a shield in which the nozzle head has at least one rib and the shield has a complementary groove, or grooves which mate with the rib, or ribs to respectively place the shield on the nozzle with the proper orientation so that the fluid can be dispensed into the eye as the shield covers it and to cover the nozzle orifice by a closed portion of the shield when the device is to be stored or transported.
11 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENIEBIIBT 1 1 1 3,841 $33 MI 1 NIH! $2. mm mm 1 SPRAY DISPENSER AND SHIELD Many situations exist where it is desired to administer fluids in spray form, such as pharmaceuticals and other medicinal preparations, to the eye. In general, a problem exists in that the fluid must be administered in at least approximately predetermined dosages, for example one or two drops, and the eye must be held open to keep it from blinking.
One device for dispensing fluids into the eye is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,314,426 to Albert Carroll. In the device of that patent, an eye shield is attached to the spray nozzle of a bottle of the fluid preparation. The attachment of the eye shield is made in such a way to provide spaces between the two to permit light to enter the shield. The light permits the eye to be focused onto the spray nozzle orifice from which the liquid exits. This assures that the liquid will enter the eye at the correct location. While the device of that patent is operable, the arrangement for attaching the eye cup to the nozzle are relatively complex and therefore expensive to make on a high-volume basis. In addition, the presence of the open spaces permits contaminates to enter into the shield.
In US. Pat. No. 2,985,382 to Rachel Coplan, a spray director is disclosed which is to be located over a nozzle containing an orifice. Proper alignment is obtained between the nozzle and the director by having a rib on the nozzle and a keyway on the director. The device of this patent is primarily for directing the spray and no provision is made for any illumination of the spray nozzle orifice so that the eye can be directed towards it to receive the maximum spray. In addition, when the director is placed in a position to cover the nozzle when the device is not being used, it is possible for the orifice to be forcing the open keyway on the director, thereby permitting the orifice to be contaminated.
The present invention is directed to a novel arrangement of a shield and a spray dispenser nozzle. The nozzle has formed thereon one or more aligning means, such as ribs, and the shield has one or more mating aligning means, such as grooves. The aligning means of the nozzle and the shield permit the shield to be positioned on the nozzle when the spray is to be dispensed only in such a manner so that the orifice of the nozzle is aligned with the central axis of the shield. The shield which is constructed preferably of a translucent plastic material. It also has a second set of aligning means, preferably also in the form of grooves, formed thereon. The second set of aligning means, when in the'form of grooves, can permit additional illumination of the interior ofthe shield so that the eye can focus upon the orifice of the nozzle as a target. This aids in directing the maximum amount of fluid into the proper location of the eye.
The second set of aligning means on the shield also mate with ribs on the nozzle head to properly align the shield to serve as a cover for the nozzle orifice. This prevents the nozzle from being contaminated when the device is to be stored or transported. e
The shield of the present invention is relatively simple in construction and can be easily molded on a high speed basis. Also the shield is easily moved and aligned between its two positions of use and storage.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a spray nozzle and shield in which the shield has novel aligning means to permit it to be placed on the nozzle to either expose the nozzle orifice or to cover it. I
Another object is to provide a spray nozzle and shield in which aligning means on the shield which are used to orient the shield on the nozzle to cover the orifice also admit light into the shield interior when the fluid is to be dispensed.
An additional object is to provide a novel eye shield for a spray dispenser having means through which light is admitted so that the eye can focus on the orifice when the spray is dispensed.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification and annexed drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the top portion of the bottle and sprayer with the eye shield shown in crosssection;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 with the eye shield in an assembled position on the bottle;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view showing the eye shield in cross-section on top of the bottle in position to be used;
FIG. 4 is a cross-section looking down along lines 4l--4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a cross-section looking down taken along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 6 is a bottom view ofa portion of the eye shield.
Referring to the drawings, the invention includes an atomizing spray nozzle 10 having a head, or cap, 11 on top of a plunger 10:: which passes through a collar 12 formed as part of a closure fastened on top of a bottle 14. The bottle contains the liquid, such as a medicament or other solution (not shown) which is to be sprayed. The spray nozzle 10 is of conventional construction and includes a stem 16 with suitable metering and check valve devices therein (not shown) which extends into the liquid in the bottle 14.
The plunger of the nozzle when depressed will cause a predetermined amount of the liquid in the bottle 14, for example, one or two drops, to exit through an orifice 19 formed in an orifice piece 20 at the upper end of the nozzle. The piece 20 is an extension of the stem 16 and is separate from the head 11. It is preferred that the piece 20 be made of a different color than the head 11 for reasons to be explained below.
The head 11 also has a plurality of aligning means, such as ribs 22 formed thereon. The ribs are formed in pairs and, as shown in the various drawings, there are three pairs of ribs 22 spaced substantially 90 apart on center around the skirt of the head 11. Two of the pairs of ribs are spaced 90 on each side of the orifice l9 and the third piece l from the orifice. The head is hollow at the bottom of its skirt wall so that it is somewhat flexible. The ribs 22 also taper outwardly slightly from their tops to their bottoms.
An eye shield 30 is provided which is made of a suitable plastic, preferably of a translucent material, which can pass light if the wall thickness is thinned down sufficiently. The eye shield includes a generally frustoconical front portion 32 and a rear sleeve 34. The front portion 32 terminates in a ring or wall 38 having a smooth front edge 37. Wall 38 is generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the shield and the diameter of its inner circumference is somewhat less than the outer diameter across the top of the bottle closure 12. Slightly raised projections 39 also can be formed on the interior of wall 38.
The sleeve 34 of the shield has a generally flat top wall 40, a rear wall 41, two flat side walls 42 and a curved bottom wall 43 which joins the two side walls.
The curved bottom wall 43 of the sleeve has a keyway 45 formed therein from the sleeve back wall 41 to a point just short of the commencement of the shields conical front portion 32. Keyway 45 is shaped generally to conform to the profile of the cap nozzle head 11. Specifically, the key'way includes a straight back edge 45a and a straight front edge 45b which are parallel to each other. Each of the sides of the keyway includes a straight portion 450 starting from the back edge 45a and a curved portion 45d which terminates at the front edge 45b.
The keyway 45 is cut on the curved bottom wall 43 of the sleeve 34. The back edge 45a of the keyway has a slot 470 which continues into the rear wall 41 of the sleeve and a slot 47b in each of the side edges of the keyway between the portions 450 and 45d. The slots 47 are generally transverse to the central longitudinal axis of the shield. As seen in FIGS. 3 and 5, the slots 47a and 47b form a first set of aligning means on the sleeve which are positioned to mate with the three pairs of ribs 22. The two curved portions 45d of the side edges of the slot will engage the cap 11 of the nozzle when the shield is in the position shown in FIG. 3.
Due to the spacing of the three sets of ribs 33 and the slots 47 in the keyway, the eye shield 30 can only be positioned on the head 11 of the nozzle with the nozzle orifice 19 facing the opening 39 at the front of the conical portion of the cut and aligned generally on the shields central axis. This is shown in FIGS. 3 and 6.
A second set of aligning means, in the form of three grooves 50a, 50b and 50c, are provided on the interior of the sleeve 34. The grooves 50a and 50b are generally parallel with the longitudinal axis of the shield and are located on the interior of the respective side walls 42a and 42b. They extend substantially from an intermediate point of the keyway 45 to a point slightly into the conical front portion 32 of the shield. This is shown in FIG. 1. The groove 50c is formed on the bottom wall 43 from a portion just forward of the front wall 45b of the keyway into the conical portion of the shield. The three grooves 50 have substantially the same length.
Each of the grooves 50 has substantially the width of a pair of ribs 22 and is substantially the same depth as the ribs. The grooves 50 are positioned so that they will mate with the pairs of ribs 22 on the head 11 when the shield 30 is placed in the position shown in FIG. 2, that is. when the bottle is to be stored.
The interior of the shield also has grooves 64 formed at the point where the top wall 40 of sleeve 34 joins the side walls 42. This is shown best in FIGS. 1 and 4. Grooves 64 extend beyond the flat top wall 40 into the conical area of the shield. Each groove has a pointed end 64a. The interior terminating portion 64b of each groove 64 is also tapered to a point to reduce the thickness of the shield wall.
The operation of the sprayer and eye shield is as follows. For transportation or storage, the eye shield is in the position shown in FIG. 2 with the sleeve 34 over the nozzle head 11. The second set of grooves 50 in the sleeve align and mate with the respective pairs of ribs 22 (see FIG. 4). Since there are only three pairs of ribs,
spaced apart, the shield can only be placed one way on the nozzle head. This is with the flat top wall 40 of the sleeve covering the orifice piece 20 and the orifice to protect the orifice from being contaminated. It is not possible to place the sleeve of the shield on the nozzle with the orifice piece facing the keyway 45.
As shown in FIG. 4, the interior of the sleeve top wall 40 is also dished out slightly at 40a so that the orifice piece 20 will have some clearance in the event it is not flush with the cap 11. The eye shield is pushed down to the position shown in FIG. 2 until the top edge of the closure 12 rests against the area of the interior of wall 38 and projections 39 at the front of the conical portion of the shield. When in this position, it is not possible to push the plunger down to eject any fluid from the bottle. A friction fit is produced between the pairs of ribs 22 and the grooves 30 and/or between wall 38 and closure 12 so that the shield will not fall off the bottle.
When it is desired to dispense fluid from the bottle,
the eye shield 30 is pulled straight up off of the bottle,
as shown in FIG. 1. It is then turned to a position where the first set of transverse slots 47a, 47b and 470 in the keyway are aligned with the three pairs of ribs 22 on the head 11. Due to the spacing of the ribs, it is only possible to place the eye cup onto the nozzle in the position where the orifice 19 faces toward the front end 39 of the shield.
The sprayer is now ready to be operated. The user opens his eye-and places the front end 39 of the shield over the eye with the eyelid open, as shown in FIG. 3. At this point, the second set of longitudinal aligning grooves 50 and the slots 64 serve a useful function. That is, they thin down the wall of the shield to admit more light into its interior. Thus, the eye will have sufficient light within the shield to enable it to focus on the orifice 19. The pointed ends 640 of the slots 64 also aid in directing the pupil of the eye to focus on the orifice. The orifice piece 20 is preferably a different color than the cap 11 to make it easier for the eye to focus properly. Since the light will be soft and diffused there will be no blinking of the eyelid due to either the absence of light or to the presence of too strong a light. The light is admitted into the interior of the shield without there being any opening or space, between the nozzle and the eye through which foreign material, such as dust or dirt, can enter when the spray is operated.
As shown in FIG. 3, when the plunger is operated, a measured amount of fluid is conveyed from stem 16 out through the orifice 19 directly into the eye. The eye is completely shielded at all times. It should be understood that the fluid does not normally contact the interior wall of the conical portion of the shield. The purpose of the shield is to keep the eye open and to make sure that the center of the eye is directed towards the target which is the differently colored orifice piece 20.
To store the shield when its use is finished, it is pulled off the nozzle, from the position shown in FIG. 3 and turned until the second set of longitudinal grooves 50a are aligned with the pairs of ribs 22. Due to the slight resiliency of the lower portion of the skirt wall of the head 11 and the taper of the ribs 22, a friction fit is established, as shown in FIG. 4. This prevents the shield from dropping off the nozzle. As pointed out above, due to the presence of the grooves 50, the shield can be placed back onto the nozzle only in the position shown in FIG. 2 with the top wall 40 covering the orifice piece 20. This protects the orifice piece from having any dirt or other foreign material lodge therein. This aids in preserving the relative cleanliness of the device.
While the aligning arrangement has been shown to include pairs of ribs on the nozzle head, it should be understood that single ribs can be used. There can be as many ribs spaced as needed to insure proper alignment of the shield.
What is claimed is:
i. A dispenser system for administering fluid to a confined location, such as the eye, comprising a spray nozzle having a head with an orifice, the head having at least one first aligning means thereon, an eye shield having an opening at one end thereof and a sleeve at the other, said sleeve being a closed surface except for a keyway therein which is formed with a shape substantially complementary to that of the head and at least one second aligning means substantially transverse to the longitudinal axis of the shield to mate with the first aligning means on the head, said first and second aligning means positioned to align the orifice toward the shield opening when the keyway of the sleeve is placed over the nozzle head with said first and second aligning means in a mating relationship when the shield is in a position of use to dispense fluid, the sleeve also having formed thereon at least one third aligning means substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the shield to mate with the first aligning means on the head, said first and third aligning means positioned to align the shield in a storage position with a closed portion of the sleeve remote from the keyway covering the orifice of the head when the nozzle head is inserted into the shield through its said opening at one end thereof.
2. A dispenser system as in claim ll wherein said first aligning means is a rib and is formed on said nozzle head at a position spaced from the orifice.
3. A dispenser system as in claim 2 wherein said first aligning means is located on said head at a position opposite to the orifice, said sleeve having a curved bottom wall on which the keyway is formed and a back wall, said second aligning means formed on said back wall.
4. A dispenser system as in claim 3 wherein the front portion of the keyway remote from the back wall is curved to conform to the shape of the nozzle head when the sleeve is on said head in a position of use to surround the lower portion of the head adjacent the orifice.
5. A dispenser system as in claim 1 wherein said first aligning means comprises at least one rib and said third aligning means comprises at least one groove.
6. A dispenser system as in claim 5 wherein said shield is of translucent material and said at least one groove comprising said third aligning means is of reduced thickness with respect to the area of the shield on which it is located to aid in the admission of light into the interior of the shield.
7. A dispenser system as in claim 1 wherein there are a plurality of first aligning means on the nozzle head, and a corresponding number of second aligning means on said shield.
8. A dispenser system as in claim 1 wherein said shield is of translucent material and said sleeve of said shield has a substantially fiat top wall opposite the portion on which the keyway is formed, and at least one groove formed on the interior of the sleeve adjacent the top wall to reduce the thickness of the shield material to admit additional light into the shield in the area of the orifice when said shield is in a position of use mounted by said keyway on the nozzle.
9. A dispenser system as in claim 1 wherein the portion of the head surrounding the orifice is of a different color from the remainder of the head.
It). A dispenser system as in claim 1 wherein the lower portion of the head is hollow and has an amount of resiliency thereto, the second aligning means being sized with respect to the first aligning means on the head, a portion of which is located on the resilient part of the head, to produce a friction fit when the sleeve is both in the use postion and in the storage position.
ll. A dispenser system as in claim 1 wherein said shield is of translucent material.
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