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Claims for Patent: 5,687,710

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Claims for Patent: 5,687,710

Title: Inhaler for powdered medications having spiral deagglomeration chamber
Abstract:A powder dispenser includes a powder housing for holding a supply of powdered material to be dispensed, the powder housing including an inhalation conduit provided displaced relation to the powdered material supply; a metering plate including a metered dose hole for holding a metered amount of the powdered material, and positioned below the powdered material supply, the metering plate and the powder housing being relatively rotatable with respect to each other about a common central axis; a counter providing a visual count of the number of doses of the powdered material that have been dispensed or remain to be dispensed in response to the relative rotation, the counter including counter rings providing the visual count, the counter rings being rotatable about the common central axis and having indicia thereon which display the visual count, and an actuating mechanism rotatable about the central axis for incrementally rotating the counter rings in response to the relative rotation; a nozzle for breaking up agglomerates of powdered material from the inhalation conduit to form micronized powdered material, the nozzle including a cavity for changing the direction of flow of the powder from the direction of the inhalation conduit to a second different direction, and a curved wall for substantially continuously changing the direction of flow of the powder in a spiral manner in the second direction in the cavity; and a closure cap covering the powder housing and priming the powder dispenser for use automatically upon removal thereof.
Inventor(s): Ambrosio; Thomas J. (Somerville, NJ), Bilanin; Alan J. (Princeton, NJ), Kaufman; Andrew E. (Robbinsville, NJ), Kenyon; David J. (Morristown, NJ), Manthena; Srinivas (Bricktown, NJ), Yang; Tsong-Toh (Warren, NJ)
Assignee: Schering Corporation (Kenilworth, NJ)
Application Number:08/458,928
Patent Claims: 1. A nozzle for reducing particle size of agglomerates of flowing powdered material entering the nozzle in a first plane from a powder inhaler, to form micronized powdered material and for mixing said micronized powdered material with suction air, said nozzle comprising either:

(a) cavity means for changing the flow of said powdered material from said first plane to a second plane substantially perpendicular to said first plane, and swirl means for substantially continuously changing the direction of flow of said powdered material in said second plane in said cavity means; or

(b) an outer wall defining a conduit having a shape substantially of an inverted tornado.

2. The nozzle according to claim 1, wherein said cavity means is defined by a top wall and a skirt connected to a periphery of said top wall in surrounding relation to said swirl means.

3. The nozzle according to claim 2, wherein said top wall includes an opening for changing the plane of flow of said powdered material from said second plane of said cavity means substantially back to said first plane.

4. The nozzle according to claim 3, wherein said top wall has a circular shape and said opening is centrally located in said top wall.

5. The nozzle according to claim 4, wherein said swirl means includes a curved wall extending from said opening to said skirt.

6. The nozzle according to claim 5, wherein said curved wall extends in a substantially spiral manner.

7. The nozzle according to claim 6, wherein said curved wall has a first curved wall section extending partially about said central opening and a second curved wall section extending from one end of said first curved wall section to said skirt, each of said first and second curved wall sections extending essentially along a circular arc, with the radius of the circular arc of said second curved wall section being greater than the radius of the circular arc of said first curved wall section.

8. The nozzle according to claim 7, wherein said curved wall is connected with said top wall.

9. The nozzle according to claim 7, further including chimney means extending from said top wall in surrounding relation to said central opening for changing the plane of flow of said powdered material from said second plane of said cavity means substantially back to said first plane.

10. The nozzle according to claim 9, wherein said chimney means has a central axis parallel to and offset from the flow of said powdered material entering the nozzle.

11. the nozzle according to claim 1, wherein said inverted tornado shape is defined by a continuously changing cross-sectional circular area having a radius which changes exponentially by depth from a lower outer circle of a first radius to an upper circle of a second, smaller radius, and having an origin which moves in a circle that changes with depth.

12. The nozzle according to claim 11, wherein said inverted tornado shape is defined by the equation:

where

a=a.sub.0 *sine (a.sub.1 *.pi.),

b=b.sub.0 *cosine (b.sub.1 * .pi.),

c.sub.0 +c.sub.1 is the radius of a lowest cross-sectional circular area of the inverted tornado shape,

c.sub.0 is the radius of an uppermost cross-sectional circular area of the inverted tornado shape,

a.sub.0 +a.sub.1 is the x-coordinate of the lowest cross-sectional circular area,

a.sub.0 is the x-coordinate of the uppermost cross-sectional circular area,

b.sub.0 +b.sub.1 is the y-coordinate of the lowest cross-sectional circular area,

b.sub.0 is the x-coordinate of the uppermost cross-sectional circular area,

x, y and z are x-, y- and z-coordinates, and

k is an exponential coefficient which defines the geometry of a spiral of the inverted tornado shape.
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