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Claims for Patent: 6,182,655

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Claims for Patent: 6,182,655

Title: Inhaler for multiple dosed administration of a pharmacological dry powder
Abstract:An inhaler for multiple dosed administration of a pharmacological dry powder consists externally of a housing (100,150) and of a protective cap (950) which can be removed from a special mouthpiece (900) fitted on the housing. Arranged on the inside there are a slide rail (200), a dosing slide (300), a shutter (400), a carriage (500), a funnel arrangement (600), a counter device (700), a valve shield (800) and a valve guide (850). Removal of the protective cap (950) initiates the dosing, with a dose received in the dosing cavity (302) being transported to the mouth-piece (900) by means of the dosing slide (300). Only upon application of a defined minimum intensity of inhalation is the shutter (400) moved by the suctioned valve shield (800), as a result of which the dose is released for inhalation. Completed with an electronic module and a controllable nozzle, all inhalation-relevant data can be recorded and the flow conditions regulated.
Inventor(s): Keller; Manfred (Bad Krozingen, DE), Eggimann; Thomas (Pratteln, CH)
Assignee: Jago Research AG (Muttenz, CH)
Application Number:09/077,387
Patent Claims: 1. The inhaler for multiple dosed administration of a pharmacological dry power, comprising:

a housing including a lower part and an upper part;

a mouthpiece attached to an end of said housing, said mouthpiece including a channel extending therethrough;

a protective cap covering said mouthpiece, said protective cap being movable between a closed position and an open position;

a medicament reservoir located inside said housing, said medicament reservoir containing dry powder and including a funnel outlet;

a movable shutter positioned inside said housing, said shutter including a closure part which protrudes into said channel of said mouthpiece;

a movable dosing slide located inside said housing, said dosing slide movable between a receiving position and a dispensing position, said dosing slide including a dosing cavity positioned underneath said funnel outlet of said medicament reservoir when said dosing slide is in said receiving position, said dosing cavity being fillable with dry powder when said dosing slide is in said receiving position, said dosing slide moving into said dispensing position upon moving said protective cap from said closed position to said open position, said dosing cavity moving into said closure part and being surrounded by said closure part upon movement of said dosing slide into said dispensing position;

a movable valve shield positioned inside said housing, said valve shield being movable between a rest position and a forward position in response to suction generated during inhalation, said valve shield moving said shutter when said valve shield moves into said forward position, the movement of said shutter releasing said dosing cavity from said closure part to thereby permit the release of dry powder from said dosing cavity into said channel of said mouthpiece and to permit the inhalation of dry powder by a user of said inhaler;

locking means for locking said valve shield in said forward position only upon a defined minimum intensity of inhalation;

return means for returning said dosing slide to said receiving position only after a correctly completed inhalation, thereby returning said dosing cavity underneath said funnel outlet; and

a recording unit positioned inside said housing, said recording unit recording the number of correctly performed inhalations and having a protrusion that moves from an initial position to a final position such that, when said protrusion reaches its final position, the protrusion obstructs the return means from moving said dosing slide into its receiving position, thereby preventing further use of the inhaler.

2. The inhaler according to claim 1, wherein said locking means includes

at least one spring arm extending from said valve shield, each of said at least one spring arm having a wedge profile at an end thereof; and

at least one rib positioned in said upper part of said housing, each of said at least one spring arm passing over a corresponding one of said at least one rib when the defined minimum intensity of inhalation is achieved.

3. The inhaler according to claim 1, wherein said return means includes

a movable carriage positioned inside said housing, said carriage including two rearwardly projecting spring tongues, each spring tongue having a spring wedge located on an end thereof; and

said dosing slide, including two downwardly directed catches located at an end of said dosing slide opposite said dosing cavity, each spring wedge pressing against a corresponding catch as said carriage is moved away from said mouthpiece, said dosing slide moving in conjunction with said carriage.

4. The inhaler according to claim 1, further comprising

a longitudinally displaceable carriage positioned inside said housing, said carriage including two rearwardly projecting spring tongues, each spring tongue having a spring wedge located on an end thereof;

said dosing slide, including two downwardly directed catches located at an end of said dosing slide opposite said dosing cavity; and

two side arms projecting from said protective cap, said side arms being connected to said carriage such that as said protective cap is moved from said closed position to said open position, said carriage is pulled toward said rnouthpiece, each spring wedge pressing against a corresponding catch as said carriage is pulled toward said mouthpiece, such that said dosing slide is pulled toward said mouthpiece.

5. The inhaler according to claim 4, further comprising blocking means for blocking the movement of said protective cap when said inhaler is rotated about a central axis of said inhaler beyond a predetermined point.

6. The inhaler according to claim 5, wherein said blocking means includes

at least one ball socket in said lower part of said housing;

a stepped bulge and two impact ridges positioned on an underside of said carriage, said bulge and said impact ridges corresponding to each of said at least one ball socket; and

a movable blocking ball positioned in each of said at least one ball socket, and upon rotation of said inhaler about said central axis, said blocking ball blocks the movement of said carriage.

7. The inhaler according to claim 1, wherein said medicament reservoir includes

a funnel holder;

a funnel positioned in said funnel holder;

a funnel lid positioned on said funnel; and

a chamber located in said funnel lid, a hygroscopic desiccant powder contained in said chamber.

8. The inhaler according to claim 7, wherein hygroscopic desiccant powder is contained in a space provided in said funnel holder.

9. The inhaler according to claim 1, wherein the suction required to move the said shutter from its rest position to its forward position is determined by a resistance which said valve shield has to overcome during inhalation.

10. The inhaler according to claim 9, wherein said locking means creates said resistance and said locking means includes

at least one spring arm extending from said valve shield, each of said at least one spring arm having a wedge profile at an end thereof; and

at least one rib positioned in said upper part of said housing, each of said at least one spring arm passing over a corresponding one of said at least one rib when the defined minimum intensity of inhalation is achieved.

11. The inhaler according to claim 9, further comprising a valve guide surrounding said valve shield and an obstacle to be surmounted during movement of said valve shield inside said valve guide. whereby said resistance varies with the size and shape of said obstacle.

12. The inhaler according to claim 11, further comprising

an air gap between said valve guide and said valve shield, said air gap being configured incrementally by physical irregularities in an inner surface of said valve guide and on an outer surface of said valve shield.

13. The inhaler according to claim 9, wherein said resistance is dependent upon the distance between said rest position and said forward position of said shutter, whereby said resistance varies in accordance with said distance.

14. The inhaler according to claim 1, wherein said mouthpiece includes

a channel inlet;

a mouth tube having a channel outlet; and

an atomizer path connecting said channel inlet and said channel outlet, said atomizer path including a first channel section having at least one baffle and a second channel section in communication with said first channel section, said second channel section having a larger volume than said first channel section, said second channel section having a wall section with a textured surface.

15. The inhaler according to claim 14, wherein said first channel section is straight.

16. The inhaler according to claim 14, wherein said first channel section has a winding configuration. screen.

17. The inhaler according to claim 14, wherein said mouth tube includes an end face having an upper region, said channel outlet being located in said upper region.

18. The inhaler according to claim wherein said mouthpiece is detachable from said housing.

19. The inhaler according to claim 18, said mouthpiece is connected to said housing by a plug connection.

20. The inhaler according to claim 14, wherein said mouthpiece is a multi-part component which can be opened after detachment from said housing.

21. The inhaler according to claim 20, wherein the parts of said mouthpiece are connected to one another by an integral hinge.

22. The inhaler according to claim 21, wherein said mouthpiece includes two symmetrical halves having corresponding complementary connecting elements, and wherein said integral hinge is located on an outer end face of said mouthpiece.

23. The inhaler according to claim 1, wherein said recording unit records additional relevant data on the use of said inhaler.

24. The inhaler according to claim 23, wherein said recording unit records the times and flow parameters of each use of said inhaler.

25. The inhaler according to claim 1, wherein said recording unit indicates the completion of an inhalation by generating a signal.

26. The inhaler according to claim 25, wherein said signal is acoustic.

27. The inhaler according to claim 25, wherein said signal is optical.

28. The inhaler according to claim 25, wherein said signal is acoustic and optical.

29. The inhaler according to claim 1, further comprising vibrating means for generating vibrations as said protective cap is moved from said closed position to said open position and while said dosing cavity is positioned underneath said funnel outlet of said medicament reservoir.

30. The inhaler according to claim 29, wherein said vibrating means includes a first grate section located on said lower part of said housing and a second grate section located on a movable carriage connected to said protective cap.

31. The inhaler according to claim 30, wherein said first grate section is located on said medicament reservoir.

32. The inhaler according to claim 1, further comprising

first grip contours on said protective cap;

preventing means for preventing said protective cap from being moved from said closed position to said open position, said preventing means being disengaged by pressing said protective cap in the area of said first grip contours;

two side arms attached to said protective cap, said side arms being constructed such that moving said protective cap from said closed position to said open position requires said protective cap to be moved along a longitudinal axis of said inhaler before said protective cap is moved downward to said open position, thereby ensuring that the user places said inhaler in a proper operating position; and

second grip contours on an exterior of said housing.

33. The inhaler according to claim 32, wherein said preventing means includes

two safety cams located inside said housing, and

a safety dimple located on each of said side arms near said protective cap, each safety dimple engaging a corresponding safety cam, thereby preventing movement of said protective cap.

34. The inhaleraccording to claim 32, wherein said second grip contours are grip dimples.

35. The inhaler according to claim 1, further comprising positioning means for positioning said protective cap in said open position.

36. The inhaler according to claim 35, wherein said positioning means includes

two safety cams located inside said housing; and

two side arms attached to said protective cap, each side arm including a locking dimple located opposite said protective cap, each locking dimple engaging a corresponding safety cam, thereby securing said protective cap in said open position.

37. The inhaler according to claim 1, further comprising prohibiting means for prohibiting said inhaler from being closed by moving said protective cap from said open position to said closed position when said mouthpiece has been removed from said inhaler.

38. The inhaler according to claim 37, wherein said prohibiting means includes at least one blocking hook positioned in said housing, each of said at least one blocking hook locking said protective cap in said open position when said mouthpiece is removed, each of said at least one blocking hook unlocking said protective cap from said open position upon insertion of said mouthpiece.

39. The inhaler according to claim 1, further comprising

a valve guide having a bottom with a plurality of holes; and

said valve shield, including a bottom with a plurality of stubs corresponding to said holes, said stubs engaging in said holes.

40. The inhaler according to claim 1, wherein

said dosing cavity is an opening passing through said dosing slide; and

a slide rail is positioned underneath said dosing slide, said slide rail extending along the length of said dosing cavity, thereby closing said dosing cavity from below when said dosing cavity is positioned underneath said funnel outlet of said medicament reservoir.
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