Title:
Telescoping ampoule device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A carpule device having an outer polygonal-shaped container and an inner container telescopingly fitted within the outer container. The outer container has a top wall having an opening, a closed bottom wall, and side walls extending between the top wall and the bottom wall. The inner container has a closed rupturable bottom surface, a top surface, side walls extending upward from the bottom surface to the top surface. A rib is located on the external surface of the inner container and forms a seal between the inner and outer container. The carpule includes a device for rupturing the bottom surface of the inner container, which is preferably a protrusion located on the bottom surface of the outer container or a brush located within the inner container.



Inventors:
Pond, Gary J. (Racine, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/408510
Publication Date:
10/25/2007
Filing Date:
04/21/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/528
International Classes:
B65D25/08; B65D85/42
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PERREAULT, ANDREW D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RYAN KROMHOLZ & MANION, S.C. (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
I/we claim:

1. A carpule device comprising: an outer polygonal-shaped container comprising: a top wall having an opening; a closed bottom wall; and side walls extending between said top wall and said bottom wall; an inner container telescopingly fitted within said outer container, said inner container being movable between a first position and a second position, said inner container comprising: a closed rupturable bottom surface; a top surface; at least one side wall extending upward from said bottom surface to said top surface, said side wall having an internal surface and an external surface; and a rib located on said external surface of said inner container, said rib forming a sealing arrangement between said inner container and said outer container; and a protrusion located on said bottom wall of said container, said protrusion rupturing said bottom surface of said inner container when said inner container is moved to said second position.

2. The carpule device according to claim 1 wherein said top surface further comprises an eye-dropper member.

3. The carpule device according to claim 1 wherein said top surface further comprises a threaded area.

4. The carpule device according to claim 1 wherein said outer container further comprises a rectangular container.

5. The carpule device according to claim 1 further comprising a brush member located within said inner container.

6. The carpule device according to claim 1 wherein said inner container is molded as a unitary design.

7. A carpule device comprising: an outer polygonal-shaped container comprising: a top wall having an opening; a closed bottom wall; and side walls extending between said top wall and said bottom wall; an inner container telescopingly fitted within said outer container, said inner container being movable between a first position and a second position, said inner container comprising: a closed rupturable bottom surface; at least one side wall extending upward from said bottom surface, said side wall having an internal surface and an external surface; and a rib located on said external surface of said inner container, said rib forming a sealing arrangement between said inner container and said outer container; and a brush member having a shaft and a brush end located within said inner container, said brush member being movable between a first position and a second position, said brush rupturing said bottom surface when said brush member is in said second position.

8. The carpule device according to claim 7 wherein said brush member further comprises a handle.

9. The carpule device according to claim 8 wherein said handle forms a cover for said carpule device.

10. The carpule device according to claim 8 wherein said brush member fits within said inner container.

11. The carpule device according to claim 10 wherein said handle telescopingly fits within said inner container.

12. The carpule device according to claim 9 wherein said outer container is rectangular.

13. The carpule device according to claim 1 wherein said bottom surface of said inner container further comprises at least one weakened area arranged to interact with said protrusion when rupturing said bottom surface.

14. A carpule device comprising: an outer polygonal-shaped container comprising: a top wall having an opening; a closed bottom wall; and side walls extending between said top wall and said bottom wall; an inner container telescopingly fitted within said outer container, said inner container being movable between a first position and a second position, said inner container comprising: a closed rupturable bottom surface; at least one side wall extending upward from said bottom surface, said side wall having an internal surface and an external surface; and a rib located on said external surface of said inner container, said rib forming a sealing arrangement between said inner container and said outer container; and means for rupturing said bottom surface of said inner container when said inner container is moved from said first position to said second position.

15. The device according to claim 14 wherein said rupturing means comprises a protrusion located on said bottom wall of said outer container.

16. The device according to claim 14 wherein said rupturing means being removable from said device.

17. The device according to claim 16 wherein said rupturing means comprises a brush located within said inner container.

18. The device according to claim 16 wherein said brush further comprises a handle, said handle telescopingly located within said inner container.

19. The device according to claim 14 wherein said bottom surface further comprising at least one weakened area, said weakened area arranged to interact with said rupturing means to rupture said bottom surface.

20. The device according to claim 14 wherein said outer container is rectangular.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to storage devices for storage of medical fluids and, more specifically, to ampoules and carpules for storing medical fluids in individual doses in a sterile environment.

Small doses and amounts of hygienic medical fluids may be used in certain medical procedures and, similarly, cosmetic fluids in small amounts may be used for cosmetic samples. These small amounts need to be kept sterile until they need to be used.

Ampoule or carpule devices have been developed for such purposes, with focus of design and production of such devices generally based on such qualities as being easy to construct and inexpensive to produce. One example of such an ampoule device may be found in Sogaro, U.S. Pat. No. 6,447,476. The Sogaro device comprises a cylindrical telescoping device having an outer cylindrical device and an inner cylindrical device. The outer cylinder has a lip that is designed to form a seal with the inner cylinder, thereby forming an area to hold a liquid in the outer cylinder. The inner cylinder device has a transverse opening near the bottom of the cylinder. As the inner cylinder telescopes downwardly within the outer cylinder, the opening of the inner cylinder will pass the lip, thereby allowing fluid to move into the inner cylinder. While this device provides an adequate device for delivering a fluid, there is room for improvement. For instance, because these devices are generally used in sterile settings, the medical person normally will wear gloves when handling the carpules. As such, the described cylindrical devices may not be easy to grasp, especially since these device are relatively small. Also, the cylindrical shaped devices do not necessarily utilize space when being packed or transported. Furthermore, it may also be possible for inadvertent leakage when moving or transporting the device, if the inner cylinder is moved past the lip unintentionally. Thus, an improved device is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises a carpule device having an outer polygonal-shaped container and an inner container telescopingly fitted within the outer container. The outer container has a top wall having an opening, a closed bottom wall, and side walls extending between the top wall and the bottom wall. The inner container has a closed rupturable bottom surface, a top surface, and side walls extending upward from the bottom surface to the top surface. A rib is located on the external surface of the inner container and forms a seal between the inner and outer container. The carpule includes a device for rupturing the bottom surface of the inner container, which is preferably a protrusion located on the bottom surface of the outer container or a brush located within the inner container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded, partially cut-away, perspective view of a carpule according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a carpule according to the present invention in a first position.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the carpule presented in FIG. 2 in a second position.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment of a carpule according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a further arrangement of a carpule according to the present arrangement.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of another arrangement of a carpule according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a carpule and brush arrangement according to the present invention.

FIGS. 8-10 provide cross-sectional views of an alternate carpule and brush arrangement according to the present invention.

FIG. 11 is an overhead plan view of a membrane used with an inner container for a carpule according to the present invention.

FIG. 12 provides a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 provides another further embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Although the disclosure hereof is detailed and exact to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, the physical embodiments herein disclosed merely exemplify the invention which may be embodied in other specific structures. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention, which is defined by the claims.

FIG. 1 provides an exploded perspective view of a carpule device 10 according to the present invention. It should be understood that references to either a carpule device or an ampoule device throughout the specification should be considered as similar or like devices, and use of either should not be consider as limiting the scope of the specification or the claims. The carpule device 10 generally comprises an outer container 20 and an inner container 40. The outer container has a closed bottom wall 22 and a top wall 24 having an opening 26. As shown, the opening 26 generally comprises the entire top wall 24, but the opening 26 could be of any size, provided that inner container 40 will securely fit within the outer container 20. The outer container 20 further comprises four side walls 28a, 28b, 28c, and 28d, which preferably are of the same dimensions, thereby forming a square or cubical shape. The linear dimensions allow the device 10 to be more easily grabbed when a person is wearing medical gloves than grabbing a cylindrical or curved device. However, it is possible that the side walls may be arranged and dimensioned to form a different linear, geometric shape. The side wall 28a is shown partially cut-away to view the interior cavity 27 of the outer container 20. A protrusion 30 is shown extending horizontally upward from the bottom wall 22 into the interior cavity 27.

Still referring to FIG. 1, the inner container 40 has a bottom surface 42 and a top side 44 having an opening 46. The inner container 40 has four side walls 48a, 48b, 48c, and 48d. The inner container 40 is preferably of proportional dimensions to the outer container 20. As with the outer container 20, the dimensions of the inner container 40 may be altered and still fall within the scope of the present invention. The inner container 40 has an inner surface 50 that defines an inner cavity 56. The inner container 40 also has an external surface 52, with a rib 54 located around the periphery of external surface 52. The rib 54 allows the outer container 20 and the inner container 40 to be in a sealing relationship, so that when the inner container 40 is placed within the interior cavity 27 is a liquid tight chamber.

FIG. 2 provides a cross-sectional view of the carpule device 10. The inner container 40 is fittingly inserted into the outer container 20 in a telescoping fashion. A liquid 60 is shown located within the interior cavity 27 of the outer container 20. As stated, the rib 54 on the inner container 40 securely abuts the outer container 20 SO that the interior cavity 27 is a sealed chamber. The rib 54 may be located anywhere on the external surface 52 of the inner container 40, provided it insures that the interior cavity 27 will be a sealed area and the liquid 60 will not leak past the rib 54 and out through the opening 26. Thus, the liquid 60 within the interior cavity 27 will not be prone to contamination or spillage when in the position shown in FIG. 2.

In the first position shown in FIG. 2, the liquid 60 is housed completely within the interior cavity 27 of the outer container 20. An interior cavity 56 of the inner container 40 is separated from the interior cavity 27 by the bottom surface 42, which is preferably formed of a thinner or more flexible material than that of the rest of the inner container 40. That is, the bottom surface 42 is designed to rupture when it comes in contact with the protrusion 30. In FIG. 3, the inner container 20 outer container 40 are biased towards one another to a second position, with the protrusion 30 coming into contact with the bottom surface 42. The bottom surface 42 is ruptured, thereby allowing the fluid 60 to flow into the interior cavity 56 of the inner container 40. The liquid 60 may then be accessed and used as desired through the opening 46.

FIG. 4 shows the carpule device 10 having an alternate protrusion 130. The protrusion 130 is centrally located on the bottom wall 22 within the interior cavity 27. FIG. 4 illustrates that a protrusion used in the present invention may be located at any spot within the interior cavity 27 and still fall within the present invention, provided that the protrusion will rupture the bottom surface 42 when the bottom surface 42 comes into contact with the protrusion. Likewise, the protrusion may be of varying shapes, provided that it will be able to rupture the bottom surface 42.

FIG. 5 shows the carpule device 10 having an alternate inner container 140. The inner container 140 tapers inwardly from a bottom surface 142 to a top side 144. The top side 144 has an opening 146, which allows the carpule device 10 to act as a dispenser, such as an eye-dropper or similar device. The opening 146 may be of any size and dimension that is preferred for delivering any of a number of fluid contained within the carpule device 10. The side walls 148 may be designed as a single-piece, or may be designed of multiple-piece construction. That is, a bottom section 150 of the side walls 148 may be of a similar design to the side walls 48a-d shown in FIG. 1, with a top section 152 being detachable and forming the dispenser section.

FIG. 6 shows a further arrangement of an inner container 240. The inner container 240 has a top section 244 that comprises a threaded portion 246 so that the inner container 240 may be threaded onto a needle, syringe, or other medical device. The threaded portion 246 preferably is a LUER-LOKĀ®-style arrangement, but can be designed as any threaded arrangement. Also the threaded portion 246 could be on the inside of the top section 244 and still fall within the scope of the present invention.

FIG. 7 shows the carpule 10 including a brush member 70 having a head or brush 72. The head 72 generally can be considered as a microbrush. A shaft 74 connects the head 72 to a handle 76, which can also serve as a cover for the inner container 40. Preferably, the brush member 70 is generally the length of the inner container 20 or shorter so that the handle or cover 76 will be able to rest upon the top side 44 of the inner container 40 when the inner container 40 is in the position of FIG. 7. Preferably, the protrusion 30 is not aligned with the shaft 74 so that the brush 72 will not become embedded on the protrusion 30 when the inner container 40 is moved down to intersect the protrusion 30.

FIGS. 8-10 show an alternate embodiment of a carpule device 310. The carpule device 310 is arranged similar to the device 10, except that a protrusion is not required for the carpule device 310. The carpule 310 comprises an outer container 320 having a closed bottom wall 322 and a top wall 324 having an opening 326. Similar to the device 10 of FIG. 1, the opening 326 comprises the entire top wall 324. The container 320 forms an interior 327 for holding the liquid 60.

The device 310 also comprises an inner container 340 having a bottom surface 342 and a top side 344 having an opening 346. The inner container 340 is preferably of proportional dimensions to the outer container 320, as was discussed with the inner container 40 and the outer container 20 of the device 10. The inner container 340 has an inner surface 350 that defines an inner cavity. The inner cavity 350 also has an external surface 352, with a rib 354 located on the external surface 352. The rib 354 allows the outer container 320 and the inner container 340 to be in a telescoping, sealing relationship.

The device 310 further comprises a brush member 370 having a head 372, a shaft 374, and a handle 376. The handle 376 may also act as a cover for the inner container 340 and the device 310 in general. Preferably, the handle 376 is sized so that it will fit within the inner container 340 and, more preferably, the handle 376 fits within the inner container 340 in a sealing fashion. Such an arrangement provides for a sealed interior cavity 356 when the fluid 60 does enter the interior cavity 356.

Referring to FIG. 9, the brush member 370 is moved downward so that the head 372 comes in contact with the bottom surface 342. The bottom surface 342 is ruptured when sufficient pressure is placed upon the brush member 370, and the fluid 60 will move into the interior cavity 356, as shown in FIG. 10. As previously stated, the handle 376 is sized so that it will fit within the inner container 340. Such an arrangement provides for sufficient length for the shaft 374 and the head 372 to rupture the bottom surface 342, while still providing an enclosed interior cavity 356. However, it is understood that the brush member 370 may have other dimensions and still be able to perform the rupturing process as discussed.

FIG. 11 shows an overhead view of the bottom surface 342. To assist in the rupturing process for the bottom surface 342, score lines or weakened areas 380 are formed in the bottom surface. While not necessary for the brush member 370 to rupture the bottom surface 342, the weakened areas 380 will allow for less effort to be exerted on the brush member 370 when breaking through the bottom surface 342. Similarly, more or fewer score lines 380 could be used on the bottom surface 342.

It should also be understood that the bottom surface 42 also could be designed with score lines or weakened areas as described for the bottom surface 342.

As previously discussed, the inner and outer containers preferably have proportional dimensions. However, as shown in FIG. 12, the dimensions may not necessarily be proportional. The device 410 has an outer container 420 and an inner container 440. A rib 454 is located on the located on the exterior surface 452 of the inner container 440. While the outer container 420 is of a rectilinear shape, the inner container 440 is of a different shape. However, the rib 454 is still designed and shaped so that the inner container 420 and the outer container 440 are telescopingly arranged in a sealing fashion. Similarly as discussed with respect to the prior drawings and embodiments, the arrangement of the rib 454 and the containers 420 and 440 forms a liquid tight interior cavity 427. Such a design would still allow for an easy to grasp device 410.

FIG. 13 depicts another potential carpule device 510 according to the present invention. As previously discussed, different polygonal-shaped devices can fall within the scope of the present invention. The device 510 provides a hexagonal device. An outer container 520 and inner container 540 both have hexagonal shapes. The sealing features of the device are the same as discussed with a rib 554 located on the inner container 540 providing a seal between the inner container 540 and the outer container 520. FIG. 13 further illustrates the scope of the present invention. Provided that the outer container of a carpule device has a polygonal shape, which assists the end-user in grasping the carpule device, the device would fall within the scope of the present invention.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Furthermore, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention, which is defined by the claims.