US 3910275 A
Artificial insemination applicator device employing a cartridge or "straw" holding a unit dosage of semen, the applicator having a throw-away tubular body oversize with respect to the straw with an ejection opening at one end and a conical sealing tip around which the straw seals in the tube. A plunger in the straw is operated by a rod inserted into the tube behind the straw. The straw is made of flexible plastic and seals firmly on the conical tip which wedges into the end of the straw.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Related US. Application Data Continuation of Ser. No. 824,920, May 15, 1969, abandoned.
US. Cl 128/234; 128/239 Int. C1. A61D 7/02; A61M 37/02 Field of Search 128/234, 235, 237, 238,
United States Patent 1191 [111 3,910,275
Babey et a1. Oct. 7, 1975  ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION DEVICE 2,077,176 4/1937 Lermer 128/238 2, ,267 2 1 1 T 1... H 1 victor Stephen Babe 151 canbow 2,212,422 1111322 15.22; 1526532852 Road West, Vfllage Of Fonithlllt 3,256,884 6/1966 P11116131. 128/238 x County of Welland, Ontario; Ern 3,385,296 5/1968 Everett 128/272 x Scheiblauer, 37 Claremount Circle, Town of ll Welland County FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Ontario, both of Canada 6,995 10/1904 Denmark 401/158 1,525,336 4/1967 France 128/235  Filed: Aug. 23, 1971  Appl. No.: 174,255 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant ExgzminerJ. C. McGowan  ABSTRACT Artificial insemination applicator device employing a cartridge or straw holding a unit dosage of semen, the applicator having a throw-away tubular body oversize with respect to the straw with an ejection opening at one end and a conical sealing tip around which the straw seals in the tube. A plunger in the straw is operated by a rod inserted into the tube behind the straw. The straw is made of flexible plastic and seals firmly on the conical tip which wedges into the end of the straw.
10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures U.S. PEltfiIlt Oct. 7,1975 Sheet 1 of2 3,910,275
Inventors VICTOR s. BABEY ERNEST SCHEIBLAUER by: Q K m.
US. Patent 0a. 7,1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,910,275
Inventors VICTOR S. BABEY ERNEST SCHEIBLAUER by: fiemgzefl Mm ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION DEVICE This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 824,920, filed May 15, 1969, now abandoned.
This invention relates to a device adapted to be used in the practice of artificial insemination of animals.
Artificial insemination of animals rather than natural propagation is well known in the art and has many advantages which accrue from the use of this method. In the U.S. Pat. No. 3,256,884 entitled Injection Device for Artificial Insemination having a Disposable Dispensing Capsule with Detachable Actuator issued on June 21, 1966 to Harold J. Hill et al., sets out very clearly the conventional procedure According to the most economical practice, the semen collected is divided into unit dosage quantities and stored in thin plastic tubes known as a semen straw. One end is heat sealed and the other end is blocked with a movable plug member and the straws are then frozen according to a specific programme until ready for use.
Semen straws of various types are well known in the art and are shown for example in U.S. Pat. No. 2,572,155, R. H. Hoyt; French Pat. No. 1,472,139, R. Cassou; and German Pat. No. 1,168,607, R. Cassou.
Cleanliness is very important in any method used and the equipment must be perfectly sterile for obvious reasons. Preferably, a new instrument should be used every time to provide the cleanliness required, and it is considered desirable that the old instrument should be destroyed rather than re-used.
The new inexpensive plastic materialsavailable on the market make it feasible to discard the device after each use as sterilization of the device in the field at the site of the insemination is impractical if not impossible.
It is an object of this invention to provide apparatus for the simple and effective artificial insemination of animals which permit simple storage, shipping and usage techniques under perfectly sterile conditions with low cost equipment which may be destroyed after use.
It is a further objective of the invention to provide such apparatus having the foregoing advantages which is of a more efficient design requiring a minimum of manual dexterity and training and ensuring an efficient seal between the straw and the instrument itself.
According to this invention, there is provided an improved insemination device made of an economical plastic material which permits the discarding of the entire device after each usefA novel ejection tip is attached to the cylindrical walls of the device to permit a sterile sealed plastic semen straw'to be inserted into the device and connected to the novel ejection tip in such a manner that there is no wasteof the fluid from the semenstraw. One end of the semen straw is severed before being inserted into the device and the open end of the semen straw is placed on a generally conical sealing extension of the ejection tip to provide a secure seal therebetween to prevent loss of any of the fluid. A piston portion or plug is positioned on the upper end of the semen straw and a rod is inserted in the device to co-operate with the plug to eject the fluid from the semen straw as the rod is manually actuated. The semen straw is dimensioned to hold the precise volume of semen necessary for an impregnation and the semen straws are filled, sealed, stored and shipped to the point of use and the contents ejected without exposure or loss.
The foregoing and other advantages will become apparent from the following description of preferred embodiment of the invention which is here given by way of example only with reference to the following draw ings, in which like reference devices refer to like parts whereof through various views and diagrams, in which:
FIG. 1 is a sectional elevation view of an insemination device according to the invention showing the semen straw associated with the ejection tip and a rod in a retracted position;
FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the semen straw used with the invention:
FIG. 3 is an exploded view showing the ejection tip and the tubular body associated therewith;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the insemination device showing the ejection tip and tubular body apart before they are joined together;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 showing the tubular body joined to the ejection tip and the open end of the semen straw being placed upon the ejection tip;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 showing the tubular body joined to the ejection tip and the open end of the semen straw being placed upon the ejection top; and
FIG. 7 is a sectional view corresponding to the section of FIG. 5 showing an alternative embodiment.
In FIG. 2, is shown a semen straw 16 having a hollow tubular body with an inner wall 18, an outer wall 19, a lower end and an upper end 20. A plunger or plug 21 is inserted in the upper end 20 in snug contact with the inner wall 18. The plug 21 comprises three layers, two outer portions 22 of a fibrous or the like material and a centre portion 23 of polyvinyl alcohol sealer. The straw 16 has a set length to permit a known volume of contents 24 to be inserted within the straw 16. The lower end 17 is heat sealed to seal the fluid mixture 24 therein from the atmosphere. The semen straw 16 is preferably constructed of a transparent plastic or the like material. It is desirable to be able to cut this material with a sharp cutting edge. The material should be transparent to permit easy filling of the straw 16 with the fluid mixture 24 to the required height.
Referring now to the other drawings, an artificial insemination device is generally indicated by the character 10. The device has a tubular body 11 with an inner wall 12 and an outer wall 13. An ejection tip 14 is secured at one end of the body 11 in a novel manner as will be described hereinafter, and the opposite end 15a is open to the atmosphere.
A rod 25 having a diameter less than the diameter of the inner wall 18 of the straw 16 has a lower end 26 which is inserted in the open end of the straw, 16 to make contact against the top end of the piston or plug 21. The rod has a sufficient lengh to permit its free end to project beyond the open end 15a of the tubular body 11 when the plug 21 has been pushed down through the straw 16 and is approximately at the ejection tip 14.
As shown best in FIG. 3, the ejection tip 14 comprises an annular body 27 having an outer surface 28 and an axially orientated passageway 29 therethrough. A wall 30 of the annular body 27 supports at its centre an upstanding generally frusto-conical sealing extension 31. The extension 31 has a top 32, a base 33 and a central inlet opening 34 in the top 32 to the passageway 29. Preferably, the tip 14 is molded separately and the wall 30 of the annular body 27 has a ring-like lip 35 positioned between the outer surface 28 of the annular body 27 and the base 33 of the extension 31. A curved surface 36 between the outer edge 34 and the ring-like lip 35'is preferably concave in shape for reasons which will be explained hereinafter. A surface 37 between the base 33 of the extension 31 and the ring-like lip 35 is slightly curved The annular body 27 also has a bottom wall 38 which preferably is curved from the outer edge 34 to the exit opening 39 of the passageway 29.
The body 11 and the ejection tip 14 may be made of any suitable material which is transparent, such as resinous or plastic materials. Thermo-plastic or thermosetting resinous materials such as polystyrene preferably are used.
As shown best in FIG. 4, the body 11 and the ejection tip 14 are manufactured separately and then welded together by a machine producing ultra-sonic frequency vibrations. This method of assembling the body 11 to the ejection tip. 14 is such that the lower end 15 of the tubular body 11 is placed in contact with the ring-like lip 35 and themachine is turned on to generate ultrasonic frequency vibrations. the vibration develops localized heat between the ejection tip 14 and the body 11 at the point of contact of the lip 35 with the lower end of the body 11. The heat thereby generated, melts the plastic material in the lip 35 and lower end 15 of the body 11 in contact therewith. Pressure is continuously applied to the upper end 15a of the tubular body 11 which forces the lower end 15 of the body 11 into the melted plastic on the wall 30. The plastic material is permitted to cool, joining the lower end 15 of the body 11 to the wall 30 of the annular body 27. Then the insemination device 10 is sterilized and packaged to prevent contamination thereof until the insemination device is to be used in the field.
The insemination device 10 should have such dimensions. that the outer diameter of the tubular body 11 is of such a size that it causes no discomfort and the lengths of the tubular body 11 and rod 25 is such that they are suitable for the particular species of animal. The diameter between the inner walls 18 of the straw 16 is somewhat greater than the diameter of the top 32 ofthe extension 31 and the extension 31 tapers outwardly and downwardly to a diameter somewhat greater than that of the interior of the straw 16 to ensure that a seal is formed between the tapered side walls of the extension 31 and the inner walls 18 of the straw 16. The opening 34 in the top 32 of the extension 31 is as large as can be arranged to permit free flow therethrough. In order to permit room for expansion of straw 16 within body 11, the clearance between the outer diameter of the straw l6 and the inner diameter of the tubular body 11 is approximately between about 2 and 4 times the thickness of the walls of the straw 16 to permit the straw 16 to be expanded by extension 31 within the body 11 by pressure from the operator when the free end 17 is to be placed on the extension 31. 1f the clearance is much greater than the above mentioned distance, then the straw 16, when being touched by the rod 25 can tip inside the body 11 and make it difficult to place the free end 17 on the extension 31, and the body 11 will be of too great an outside diameter for comfort. Conversely if the clearance is much less than this, then the straw 16 will be prevented from expanding on the extension 31 due to the close proximity of body 11.
When pressure is applied at the upper end of the straw 16, the lower end 17 is forced down on the tapered extension 31, it forms a tight seal between the inner wall 18 of the straw 16 and the extension 31. The wall of the straw 16 must have a thickness sufficiently small to achieve resilience for sealing and yet not too thick to prevent fast freezing of the fluid mixture 24 for storage purposes.
In operation, the sealed straw 16 is frozen and stored in a tank with liquid nitrogen or the like to maintain it in the frozen condition until it is desirable to use it. After thawing, the heat sealed end of the straw 16 is then severed at 17 by scissors or the like and the body 11 is held so as to permit the straw 16 to be inserted in the open end 15a of the body 11.
The rod 25 is then inserted in the tubular body 11 and the lower end 26 is placed in contact with the wall of the upper end 20 of the straw 16. The straw 16 is pushed towards the extension 31 and the straw 16 is moved around until the lower end 17 is placed over the top 32 thereof. With the rod 25, pressure is applied on the wall of the upper end 20 of the straw 16 by the operator, forcing the lower end 17 of the straw 16 to stretch slightly when in contact with the tapered extension 31. As shown in FIG. 6, the inner wall 18 of the straw 16 engages the extension 31 in such a manner to provide a good seal whereby none of the fluid mixture 24 in the straw 16 is lost in the injecting process. The rod 25 is then inserted in the upper end 20 of the straw 16 to make contact with the upper end of the plug 21 and the operator holds the rod 25 in that position securely.
The device 10 with the straw 16 and rod 25 in position are immediately inserted into the animal and the mixture 24 injected by pushing the rod 25 and the plug 21 longitudinally through the tubular body 11 until all the fluid 24 has been ejected from the straw 16 through the passageway 29 of the tip 14. It should be noted that the plug 22, cannot be ejected since it is too large to pass through passageway 29. Upon withdrawal of the device 10, the rod 25 is removed from the tubular body 11 and could be used again as it does not come in contact with any of the fluid mixture 24. The remainder of the device 10 and the empty straw 16 should than be discarded.
One example of this novel insemination device 10 preferably has a tubular body 11 with an outside diameter of approximately 0.25 inches and an inside diameter of 0.131 inches. The tubular body 11 is from 14 to 18 inches in length. The ejection tip 14 has approximately the same outer diameter as the tubular body 11 (0.25 inches) and the extension 31 is tapered from the top 32 to the base 33. The diameter of the top wall 32 is 0.086 inches and the diameter of the base 33 is 0.120 inches. The opening 34 in the top 32 has a diameter of 0.062 inches.
The semen straw 16 has an outer diameter of 0.107 inches, a wall thickness of 0.006 inches, an inside diameter of 0.095 inches and has a capacity ranging from 1.0 c.c. to 2.0 c.c. The clearance between the base 33 of extension 31 and the inner walls of the body 11 is 0.0055 inches on each side i.e. just about equal to the wall thickness of the straw 16. The clearance between the edge of the top wall 32 and the inner walls of body 11 is about 0.0225 inches on each side i.e. between 3 and 4 times the wall thickness of the straw 16. The semen straw 16 is made of such a material that will stretch slightly to permit the open end 17 to be forced onto the extension 31, yet be resilient enough to form According to a further embodiment, shown in FIG. I
7), it may be desirable to incorporate an outer sleeve or collar 40 on ejection tip l4 to fit around the end of body 11 to avoid any possibility of roughness occurring at the welded junction between tip 14 and body 11 due to flashing of melted plastic and the like. Such a sleeve would extend only a short distance up body 11 sufficient for the purpose.
Obviously, the length of body 11 and other actual dimensions quoted would be variable for use with different animals, those quoted being suitable for use with domestic cattle such as cows.
The foregoing is a description of a preferred embodiment of the invention only. The invention is not to be taken as limited to any of the specific features described, but comprehends all such variations as come within the spirit and scope of the claims.
What we claim is:
1. An artificial insemination applicator device for use with a hollow synthetic plastic semen straw adapted to contain a predetermined semen dosage said straw being of tubular construction and having a movable plug internally disposed at one end thereof, the other end of said straw being adapted to be opened for discharge of contents therefrom, said applicator device comprising;
an elongated rigid tubular body of predetermined internal diameter sufficient to loosely receive a said straw therein and permit limited expansion thereof and having two ends, the interior of said body at least in the region of one said end being of smooth regular cylindrical shape;
an ejection tip member fomied of synthetic plastic material secured at said one end of said tubular body and having a discharge passageway extending therethrough; sealing extension member formed integrally with said ejection tip of generally frusto-conical tapering shape extending inwardly into said tubular body from said one end having a top, and a base, the diameter of said base being greater than the diameter of said top and defining an annular free space therearound between said base and said smooth regular interior of said tubular body to permit expansion of said straw and merging integrally with said tip and said top being free, said top being of smaller diameter than said base and being oriented and dimensioned to enter said opened end of said straw and progressively expand the same at least partially in to said annular free space between said base and said tubular body and make sealing engagement therewith and having an opening extending from said top to said base and connected to said discharge passageway, and
an operating rod to engage said plug in a said straw Within said body and to procure movement of said plug along said straw whereby to expel the contents of said straw through said discharge passageway, pressure of said rod on said plug holding said open end of said straw in sealing engagement with said extension member as aforesaid.
2. An artificial insemination device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said tubular body and said ejection tip member comprise two separately formed members, said tip member including annular attachment means rom m mb tehed andsealed to said ,tubularjbodyfi a se -me forming an integral part of said tip member, spaced from the base of said extension member, and said weld means being welded to said tubular body.
4. An artificial insemination device as claimed in claim 2, wherein said attachment means includes an outer collar portion extending upwardly from said tip member and dimensioned to fit snugly around the exterior of said tubular body.
5. An artifical insemination device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said tip member is formed separately from said tubular body and includes an annular attachment wall portion extending at an angle substantially normal to the axis of said tubular body, and thermoplastic weld means extending around and forming an integral part of said tip member, spaced from the base of said extension member, and said weld means being welded to said tubular body.
6. An artificial insemination device comprising a hollow semen straw device containing a predetermined unit dosage of semen with a predetermined external diameter and predetermined wall thickness having a movable plug internally disposed at one end thereof, the other end being openable for discharge of contents therefrom;
an elongated rigid tubular body receiving said straw and being of predetermined internal diameter greater than the external diameter of said straw formed of synthetic plastic material and defining a clearance between the exterior diameter of the straw and the internal diameter of the body of between 2 and 4 times the wall thickness of the straw; an ejection tip member with a discharge passageway extending therethrough formed of synthetic plastic material secured at one end of said tubular body; a sealing extension member formed integrally with said ejection tip of generally tapering shape for extending into said tubular body and into said open end of said straw and haivng a circular top of predetermined diameter less than the internal diameter of said straw and an opening connected to said discharge passageway; and an operating rod extending into said body for engaging said plug in said straw and forcing the same towards said extension. 7. An artificial insemination device as claimed in claim 6, wherein said tubular body and said ejection tip member comprise two separately formed members, said tip member incorporating an annular attachment means extending around said ejection tip member, dimensioned and oriented to be permanently fastened and sealed to said tubular body.
8. An artificial insemination device as claimed in claim 7, wherein said annular attachment means comprises thermoplastic weld means extending around and forming an integral part of said tip member, spaced from the base of said extension member, and said weld means being welded to said tubular body.
9. An artificial insemination device as claimed in claim 7, including an outer collar portion extending upwardly from said attachment means and dimensioned to fit snugly around the exterior of said tubular body.
I 3. An artificialninserriination device as claimed in- 'claim herein saidannular.attachmentmeans comoplastic weld means extending around and 10. An artificial insemination device as claimed in claim 6, wherein said tip member includes an annular attachment wall portion extending at an angle substantially normal to the axis of said tubular body, said wall portion having a width dimension greater than the wall thickness of said tubular body, thermoplastic weld