Title:
Catheter packaging with integrated clip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Packaging for a catheter may include a tubular structure and an integrated clip. A catheter may be inserted into the tubular structure. The catheter may have a flexible shaft extending from a proximal end to a distal end, and a hub affixed to the proximal end. The hub may have features of a size or dimension that are larger than the outer size of the shaft. In the tubular structure of the packaging, the integrated clip may be formed by removing a portion of the sidewall of the tubular structure to form an opening, such that a portion of the hub extends out of the opening, and forming at least one clip or clasping member in the tubular structure for grasping a portion of the hub. The packaging thus has an integrated clip for holding the catheter hub in position.



Inventors:
Rispens, Johan Dirk (Norg, NL)
Application Number:
10/954712
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
09/30/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/364
International Classes:
A61F2/00; A61M25/00; (IPC1-7): B65D83/10
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JENINE MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHILIP S. JOHNSON;JOHNSON & JOHNSON (ONE JOHNSON & JOHNSON PLAZA, NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ, 08933-7003, US)
Claims:
1. Packaging for a catheter having a flexible shaft extending from a proximal end to a distal end, with a hub affixed to the proximal end, wherein the hub defines a body having a first size and a neck having a second smaller size, comprising: a tubular component with a sidewall and defining a lumen and a tubular size, such that a catheter shaft may be inserted within the lumen of the tubular component; an opening formed in the sidewall of the tubular component, such that the hub body may be partially received in the opening of the tubular component, wherein the first size of the hub body is greater than the size of the tubular component opening; at least one clip defined by a moveable portion of the tubular component, such that the at least one clip may be releasably clasped around the neck of the catheter hub, wherein the tubular component and the at least one clip are integral and unitary; such that the packaging tubular component has an integrated clip for releasably holding a portion of a catheter hub.

2. The packaging of claim 1, further comprising a second clip.

3. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the tubular component and clip are made of polymer material.

4. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the opening is formed as a scalloped portion removed from one side of the tubular component.

5. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the at least one clip is formed by a collar having a slit.

6. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the catheter is of a type selected from among the group of balloon catheters, diagnostic catheters, guiding catheters, stent delivery system catheters, injection catheters, gene therapy catheters, electrophysiology catheters, therapeutic drug delivery catheters, ultrasound catheters, and laser angioplasty catheters.

7. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the tubular component has a shape selected from among the group of straight, curved, helical, and a spiral coil.

8. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the tubular component further comprises a second aperture, and the hub has a pair of radially extending wings, such that the apertures are adapted to receive the wings.

9. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the clip is a clasping member.

10. A catheter packaging system, comprising a catheter and the packaging system of claim 1.

11. A catheter packaging system, prepared by a process comprising the steps of: (a) providing a catheter having a flexible shaft extending from a proximal end to a distal end, with a hub affixed to the proximal end; wherein the hub defines a body having a first size and a neck having a second smaller size; (b) providing a tubular component with a sidewall and which defines a lumen and a tubular size, such that the catheter shaft fits within the lumen of the tubular component; (c) forming an aperture in the sidewall of the tubular component, such that the hub body may be partially received in the opening of the tubular component, wherein the first size of the hub body is greater than the size of the tubular component opening; (d) cutting or removing a portion of the collar, to form at least one clip; the clip having a relaxed position and being moveable to an opened position, tending to resiliently return to the relaxed position; (e) inserting the catheter shaft into the tubular component, positioning the catheter hub partially in the aperture and near the clip; and (f) opening the clip to its open position, and inserting the neck of the catheter hub into the clip, and allowing the clip to resiliently clasp the neck of the catheter hub, such that the hub body is partially received within and extends out of the aperture, such that the clip tends to hold the catheter in position within the packaging system.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/570,511 filed on May 12, 2004.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Background

The present invention relates to catheter packaging, and more particularly to catheter packaging with a tubular structure having an integrated clip for releasably holding a portion of a catheter.

2. Discussion

Catheters generally have a flexible shaft extending between a proximal end and a distal end, such that the shaft can follow a curved or tortuous path. A hub is often affixed to the catheter shaft proximal end. The hub may serve a variety of functions, including providing a handle for manipulating the catheter, and/or defining a proximal port(s) communicating with one or more tubular passages or lumens that may be defined by the catheter shaft. The hub may also include one or more luer-lock fittings or other features for coupling the hub and lumen(s) to various equipment.

Of course, catheter packaging may be used with many different kinds and types of catheters, including for example balloon catheters, diagnostic catheters, guiding catheters, stent delivery system catheters, injection catheters, gene therapy catheters, electrophysiology catheters, therapeutic drug delivery catheters, ultrasound catheters, laser angioplasty catheters, etc.

Catheters are often provided in packaging to protect the catheter during sterilization, shipment, storage, etc. Such packaging may include a tubular structure into which the catheter is inserted. This tubular structure may have a shape that is straight, curved, helical, or a spiral coil. Also, the tubular structure may be held within or be affixed to a reinforcing structure. Different portions of the tubular structure may be held in relative positions by a fastener, or may be affixed together using an adhesive, heat seal, or welding. For example, the loops of a tubular spiral coil structure may be held together with one or more clips or by being welded, to hold the spiral loops in position.

After the catheter is inserted within the tubular structure, it is desirable to provide some feature to hold the catheter in position inside the tubular structure, and resist movement of the catheter to slide out of the tubular structure. Accordingly, a separate clip may be attached to the tubular structure, to hold the catheter in place within the tubular structure, and this clip may be designed to clip onto a portion of the hub.

Such a retainer should be not only effective in holding the catheter in position within the tubular packaging, but also be easy to disengage and remove the catheter from the tubular packaging in preparation for use. It is also desirable to provide a retainer that is inexpensive and easy to manufacture.

The present invention relates to packaging for any suitable type of catheter, in which the packaging includes a tubular structure with an integrated clip. In other words, catheter packaging according to the present invention includes packaging for various types of catheters, for example balloon catheters, diagnostic catheters, guiding catheters, stent delivery system catheters, injection catheters, gene therapy catheters, electrophysiology catheters, therapeutic drug delivery catheters, etc.

The terms “tube” and “tubular” are used in their broadest sense, to encompass any structure arranged a radial distance around a longitudinal axis. Accordingly, the terms “tube” and “tubular” include any structure that (i) is cylindrical or not, such as for example an elliptical or polygonal cross-section, or any other regular or irregular cross-section; (ii) has a different or changing cross-section along its length; (iii) is arranged around a straight, curving, bent or discontinuous longitudinal axis; (iv) has an imperforate surface, or a periodic or other perforate, irregular or gapped surface or cross-section; (v) is spaced uniformly or irregularly, including being spaced varying radial distances from the longitudinal axis; or (vi) has any desired combination of length or cross-sectional size.

The term “clip” is also used in its broadest sense, to encompass any releasable clip, fastener, hook, grasping or clasping member for holding a catheter in a tubular structure until released.

Catheter packaging along the lines of the present invention may provide several advantages. In an example, catheter packaging including a tubular structure and catheter clip may be made of a single piece, which provides advantages including simplicity. An integrated clip is simpler and easier to manufacture, and provides cost savings.

In addition, it is possible that the physician or health professional may be able to grasp the hub of the catheter, disengage it from the clip, and withdraw the catheter from the packaging, all in a smooth movement and primarily using one hand.

Any suitable material may be used to make catheter packaging, including polymers and other materials suitable for packaging medical devices.

Also, catheter packaging may be used with or enclosed in other packaging items. For example, the catheter and tubular structure may be placed in a polymer tray, and/or may be enclosed by an envelope of polymer sheets or metal foil. The envelope may likewise be enclosed within an outer box, made of cardboard or other suitable material. Whatever the outermost component of the catheter packaging system is, it will generally carry the labeling for the medical device.

It is of course possible to build various kinds and designs of catheter packaging according to the present invention, by various techniques and of various materials, to obtain the desired features. It should be noted that the present invention also relates to methods for making catheter packaging, and methods for using catheters and catheter packaging, during or in preparation for medical treatment of a patient.

These and various other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent from the following description and claims, when considered in conjunction with the appended drawings. The invention will be explained in greater detail below with reference to the attached drawings of a number of examples of embodiments of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partial plan view of a catheter and packaging;

FIG. 2 is a partial side elevation view of the catheter and packaging of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a catheter and packaging;

FIG. 4 is a partial cross-section view of packaging;

FIGS. 5 is a partial plan view of packaging;

FIGS. 6 and 7 are partial perspective views of a catheter and packaging;

FIGS. 8 and 9 are partial plan and elevation views of a catheter and packaging;

FIG. 10 is a partial perspective view of a catheter and packaging; and

FIGS. 11-13 are cross-section views of the catheter and packaging of FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention is merely illustrative in nature, and as such it does not limit in any way the present invention, its application, or uses. Numerous modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.

The drawings depict catheter packaging along the lines of the present invention. An example is catheter packaging 10, including a tube 12 with an opening 14 in the sidewall of tubular structure 12, and an integrated clip having a first and second clasping member 16 and 18.

A catheter 20 is shown in position inside the catheter packaging. For purposes of the present invention, many types of catheters may be used. Indeed, catheter packaging may be designed to accommodate any catheter having features that lend themselves to catheter packaging according to the present invention.

The catheter 20 in the drawings has a flexible shaft extending from a proximal end to a distal end, and a hub affixed to the proximal end of the catheter shaft. The shaft is sufficiently flexible and has a size selected to fit within a passage or lumen defined by tubular structure 12.

The hub has a body with a first size or dimension larger than or extending outward beyond the outer size of the catheter shaft and the tubular structure 12. The hub also has a neck with a second size that is smaller than the hub body, as well as a proximal end feature that is larger than the neck.

In examples shown in the drawings, the hub body has outwardly extending features such as wings 22 and 24, and a port or luer-lock 26, with a smaller neck portion between luer-lock 26 and the wings 22 and 24.

In the tubular structure of catheter packaging, the integrated clip may be formed by removing a portion of the sidewall of the tubular structure 12 to form opening 14, such that wings 22 and 24 extend out of the opening 14. Opening 14 may be formed as a scalloped portion removed from one side of the tubular component 12.

At least one clasping member is formed in the tubular structure for grasping a portion of the hub, in this case the neck portion. In FIGS. 1-5, first and second clasping members 16 and 18 are formed by cutting a longitudinal slit through a tubular collar at one end of tubular structure 12. The packaging thus has an integrated clip for holding the catheter hub in position.

The first and second clasping members 16 and 18 are defined by moveable portions of the tubular component, and they tend to resiliently move from an open position to a clasping position. Clasping members 16 and 18 may be releasably clasped around the neck of the catheter hub, such that the clip is integral and unitary with a remainder of tubular structure 12.

Additional packaging materials may of course be used, such as mounting card 28, shown in FIG. 3.

A second type of catheter is shown in FIGS. 6-7 and 10, which defines two passages or lumens, and has two corresponding proximal ports, such as for example an over-the-wire balloon catheter. This balloon catheter has a shaft 30, a proximal hub 32 which defines an inflation port 34 and a guidewire port 36. The catheter packaging shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 therefore accommodates such a balloon catheter having more than one proximal port.

Of course, as shown in FIG. 10, catheter packaging along the lines of the present invention includes a packaging tube 38 with an opening 40 and a single clasp 42, rather than multiple clasping members.

Another arrangement of catheter packaging may include multiple openings, as shown in FIGS. 8-9 and 11-13. Packaging tube 44 has a first and second opening 46 and 48, and longitudinal slits 50 in the tube 44, to allow the catheter to be removed from the packaging.

Many different materials may be used for manufacturing the catheter packaging of the present invention, including the tubular component(s) and integrated clip. For example, various polymers may be used.

Accordingly, catheter packaging according to the principles of the present invention may be made of any suitable material using a variety of methods. Various polymers have the desired characteristics of strength, resilience, flexibility, biocompatibility and endurance.

Catheter packaging along the lines of the present invention may provide several advantages. For example, a tubular structure and catheter clip may be made of a single unitary piece of material, which provides advantages including simplicity. An integrated clip is simpler and easier to manufacture, and provides cost savings. It is possible that the physician or health professional may be able to grasp the hub of the catheter, disengage it from the clip, and withdraw the catheter from the packaging, all in a smooth movement and primarily using one hand.

It should be understood that an unlimited number of configurations for the present invention could be realized. The foregoing discussion describes merely exemplary embodiments illustrating the principles of the present invention, the scope of which is recited in the following claims. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize from the description, claims, and drawings that numerous changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.