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Claims for Patent: 6,004,286

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Claims for Patent: 6,004,286

Title: Particle delivery
Abstract:A needleless syringe, in which particles of a therapeutic agent are entrained in a high pressure gas flow, has a nozzle surrounded by a shroud silencer through which gas reflected from the target surface may be vented to atmosphere while retaining any particles reflected in the gas.
Inventor(s): Bellhouse; Brian John (Oxfordshire, GB), Potter; Charles David Ogilvy (Oxon, GB), Greenford; John Christopher (Oxfordshire, GB)
Assignee: PowderJect Research Limited (GB)
Application Number:09/156,421
Patent Claims: 1. A needleless syringe for delivering particles to a target surface, said syringe comprising:

(a) an elongate nozzle having an upstream end and a downstream end;

(b) means for releasing a high pressure flow of gas into the upstream end of the nozzle, wherein particles entrained within the released gas flow pass through the nozzle and exit from the downstream end thereof for delivery to the target surface; and

(c) a tubular shroud surrounding the downstream end of the nozzle, wherein said shroud has a downstream portion which extends beyond the downstream end of the nozzle and engages the target surface, and further wherein said shroud comprises a silencing material having a porous open structure the porosity of which is sufficient to allow escape of gas from the shroud while retaining any particles reflected from the target surface.

2. The syringe of claim 1, wherein the shroud is coaxially aligned with the nozzle and spaced apart from the nozzle to provide an intermediate chamber between the outside of the nozzle and the inside of the shroud, said intermediate chamber comprising a plurality of baffles depending from the outside of the nozzle or the inside of the shroud, wherein said baffles are sufficient to attenuate the flow of gas discharged from the nozzle which passes through the intermediate chamber for subsequent release from the shroud.

3. The syringe of claim 2 further comprising an intervening tubular housing which is coaxially aligned with the nozzle and disposed between the outside of the nozzle and the inside of the shroud, said intervening housing being spaced apart from the nozzle and the shroud to establish inner and outer intermediate chambers, wherein said intermediate chambers have a plurality of depending baffles which are sufficient to attenuate the flow of gas discharged from the nozzle which passes through the inner and outer intermediate chambers for subsequent release from the shroud.

4. The syringe of claim 3, wherein the intervening tubular housing is porous or perforated to allow gas leakage between the inner and outer intermediate chambers.

5. The syringe of claim 4, wherein the intervening tubular housing is formed from an open pore foam.

6. The syringe of claim 3, wherein the inner and outer intermediate chambers are in fluid communication with each other only at upstream portions thereof such that gas discharged from the nozzle must pass through the inner chamber and then into the outer chamber for subsequent release from the shroud.

7. The syringe of claim 1, wherein the silencing material has a small pore size and a high void volume.

8. The syringe of claim 7, wherein the silencing material is a foam.

9. The syringe of claim 8, wherein the silencing material is a polyurethane foam.

10. The syringe of claim 1, wherein the shroud comprises a substantially rigid outer wall having one or more gas exit openings, and the silencing material is comprised of an open pore material disposed between the outer wall and the nozzle.

11. The syringe of claim 10, wherein the silencing material is comprised of an open pore foam which substantially surrounds the downstream end of the nozzle and is sandwiched between the nozzle and the outer wall of the shroud.

12. The syringe of claim 11, wherein the silencing material is a polyurethane foam.

13. The syringe of claim 1, wherein the shroud comprises a substantially rigid outer wall having one or more gas exit openings, and the silencing material is comprised of a fibrous open pore material disposed within or closing said one or more gas exit openings.

14. The syringe of claim 13; wherein the silencing material is a wadding of fibrous open pore material.

15. The syringe of claim 1, wherein the silencing material is a substantially rigid open pore material.

16. The syringe of claim 1, wherein the silencing material has a fibrous structure.

17. The syringe of claim 1, wherein the shroud comprises an inner or outer wall which is substantially comprised of the silencing material.
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