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Claims for Patent: 5,911,851

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Claims for Patent: 5,911,851

Title: Atomizing nozzle and filter and spray generating device
Abstract:A nozzle assembly for use in atomizing and generating sprays from a fluid. The nozzle assembly includes two members joined together. In one of the two members are formed one or more nozzle outlets, one or more fluid inlets, and a plurality of channels that form filter passageways. The nozzle outlets discharge fluid jets that impinge on one another to thereby atomize the fluid. Alternatively, an impact element or a vortex-generating structure can be used in the nozzle outlet to atomize the fluid. Methods are also provided for producing the nozzle assembly by forming the inlets, outlets, and/or channels through electrical or chemical etching or other processes that selectively remove material from at least one face of a nozzle assembly member.
Inventor(s): Bartels; Frank (Waldbronn, DE), Bachtler; Wulf (Mainz, DE), Dunne; Stephen Terence (Suffolk, GB), Eicher; Joachim (Karlsruhe, DE), Freund; Bernhard (Gau-Algesheim, DE), Hart; William Barrie (Suffolk, GB), Lessmoellmann; Christoph (Gernsbach, DE)
Assignee: Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (DE)
Application Number:08/661,741
Patent Claims: 1. A nozzle assembly for use in a spray generating device for atomizing fluid under pressure, comprising:

a first member having a first surface;

a second member having a second surface, said first and said second surfaces being joined together;

a fluid inlet formed in one of said first and second members for receiving fluid medicament at a pressure of at least 50 bar; and

a channel in said first surface forming, in cooperation with said second surface, a nozzle outlet passageway, wherein said nozzle outlet passageway includes a nozzle outlet and said nozzle outlet passageway is in fluid communication with said fluid inlet, wherein said nozzle outlet has a total cross-sectional area of approximately 25 to 500 square micrometers, whereby the fluid medicament is atomized into droplets having a mass median droplet size suitable for inhalation into the lungs.

2. A nozzle assembly for use in a spray generating device for atomizing fluid under pressure, comprising:

a first member having a first surface;

a second member having a second surface, said first and said second surfaces being joined together;

a fluid inlet formed in one of said first and second members for receiving fluid medicament at a pressure of at least 50 bar;

a channel in said first surface forming, in cooperation with said second surface, a nozzle outlet passageway, wherein said nozzle outlet passageway includes a nozzle outlet and said nozzle outlet passageway is in fluid communication with said fluid inlet, wherein said nozzle outlet has a total cross-sectional area of approximately 25 to 500 square micrometers; and

means for inducing secondary flow in the fluid medicament as it exits said nozzle outlet to thereby atomize the fluid medicament into droplets having a mass median droplet size suitable for inhalation into the lungs.

3. A nozzle assembly for use in a spray generating device for atomizing fluid under pressure, comprising:

a first member having a first surface;

a second member having a second surface, said first and said second surfaces being joined together;

a fluid inlet formed in one of said first and second members for receiving fluid medicament at a pressure of at least 50 bar;

a plurality of channels in said first surface forming, in cooperation with said second surface, a plurality of nozzle outlet passageways, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlet passageways includes a plurality of nozzle outlets and said plurality of nozzle outlet passageways is in fluid communication with said fluid inlet, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets has a total cross-sectional area of approximately 25 to 500 square micrometers; and

wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets is adapted to discharge a plurality of fluid jets that impinge on one another to thereby atomize the fluid medicament into droplets having a mass median droplet size suitable for inhalation into the lungs.

4. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, wherein said nozzle outlet passageway is formed from said channel in said first surface and a mirror image channel in said second surface.

5. The nozzle assembly of claim 2, wherein said nozzle outlet passageway is formed from said channel in said first surface and a mirror image channel in said second surface.

6. The nozzle assembly of claim 3, wherein one of said plurality of nozzle outlet passageways is formed from one of said plurality of channels in said first surface and a mirror image channel in said second surface.

7. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, wherein said first and said second surfaces are substantially planar.

8. The nozzle assembly of claim 2, wherein said first and said second surfaces are substantially planar.

9. The nozzle assembly of claim 3, wherein said first and said second surfaces are substantially planar.

10. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, wherein said first and said second surfaces are curved.

11. The nozzle assembly of claim 2, wherein said first and said second surfaces are curved.

12. The nozzle assembly of claim 3, wherein said first and said second surfaces are curved.

13. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, further comprising:

a set of channels formed in said first surface to form, in cooperation with said second surface, a plurality of filter passageways.

14. The nozzle assembly of claim 2, further comprising:

a set of channels formed in said first surface to form, in cooperation with said second surface, a plurality of filter passageways.

15. The nozzle assembly of claim 3, further comprising:

a set of channels formed in said first surface to form, in cooperation with said second surface, a plurality of filter passageways.

16. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, wherein said nozzle outlet has a total cross-sectional area of approximately 30-200 square micrometers.

17. The nozzle assembly of claim 2, wherein said nozzle outlet has a total cross-sectional area of approximately 30-200 square micrometers.

18. The nozzle assembly of claim 3, wherein said nozzle outlet has a total cross-sectional area of approximately 30-200 square micrometers.

19. The nozzle assembly of claim 3, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets is two nozzle outlets and said plurality of fluid jets is two fluid jets that impinge at an angle of approximately 90.degree..

20. The nozzle assembly of claim 15, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets is two nozzle outlets and said plurality of fluid jets is two fluid jets that impinge at an angle of approximately 90.degree..

21. The nozzle assembly of claim 18, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets is two nozzle outlets and said plurality of fluid jets is two fluid jets that impinge at an angle of approximately 90.degree..
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